In this article I study the long-term evolution of the main categories of expenditure of the European Union (EU) budget (1984-2011). The aim is to assess the extent to which the EU is affected by a structural form of policy inertia, and to investigate the general pattern of policy stability and change in the EU in light of the two models of policy dynamics currently existing in the literature: the incrementalist model and the punctuated equilibrium model. The analysis of long series of original data extracted from the EU budget shows that EU policies do not evolve following an incrementalist pattern, but by a punctuated equilibrium dynamic.
Journal of European Public Policy, 2013, Vol 20, Issue 8, p. 1157-1173
EU budget; Incrementalism; Policy dynamics; Punctuated equilibrium