The EU's revenue system is still typical for an organisation based on international cooperation and stands in contrast to the Union's far advanced legislative and political role. This contrast feeds the debate on granting the EU an autonomous tax source. Our contribution explores the factors which shape the acceptance of the EU tax option among European policy makers. We make use of a unique database: A survey among Members of the European Parliament (MEP) which resulted in a response of some 150 of the representatives. Our results confirm an important role for party ideology and individual characteristics but they also demonstrate that country-specific factors are important to understand the support for an EU tax. In the light of our findings the status quo bias in the EU's revenue system can be attributed to the persistent importance of national interests with respect to fiscal burden sharing and tax policy.
Heinemann, Friedrich, Philipp Mohl and Steffen Osterloh (2008), Who’s Afraid of an EU Tax and Why? – Revenue System Preferences in the European Parliament, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 08-027, Mannheim. Download