Contemporary history of Europe

Challenges in completing EMU: asymmetric competition vs fiscal harmonisation. A case study of the Benelux countries

This paper aims to investigate the concept, context and socio-economic consequences of fiscal competition in the integrated economic space of EMU in completion, to pinpoint the positive and negative factors at work via a case study of the Benelux countries – both founder members of the EU and pioneers of EMU – and to examine the impact on European and international regulations in the field. In particular, it will endeavour to provide a comprehensive interpretation of fiscal policy in the Benelux countries via a comparative approach and from a historical perspective. It will look at the development of respective domestic fiscal policies, driven by national interests and by membership of a Community that is subject to requirements in terms of harmonisation and taxation, but also by constant contact (and frequent clashes) with the multilateral international environment.