European Constitutionalism beyond the State

European Constitutionalism beyond the State

European Constitutionalism beyond the State

European Constitutionalism beyond the State

Synopsis

Some of the most innovative scholars in the field of European constitutionalism highlight different facets of the new constitutional discussion. Provoking deep analysis of the different ideas of constitution and constitutionalism, their study delineates new ways of thinking about the future of Europe. In particular, it challenges the European Union as an evolving federal polity. This book will appeal to anyone interested in the subject of constitutionalism, students as well as professionals in law, politics and philosophy.

Excerpt

The pace of change in European public discourse has been dizzying. At the beginning of the last decade, in the heady days before Maastricht, the Socialists and the Christian Democrats in the European Parliament were poised to divide the reporting spoils - such as they were then - between themselves. The two big prizes were the report to be presented as Parliament' input into the Maastricht process and the grand project, dating back to Spinelli' Draft Treaty, of writing a constitution for Europe. The Socialists held the majority and had the right of first choice. They chose Maastricht and they chose wisely. Readers are more likely to remember the Martin Report than the eventual Draft Constitution that was presented to plenary, provisionally approved and instantly forgotten. The C word (Constitution) was just as bad as the F word (Federalism) - both were considered as useless toys of the almost lunatic federalist fringe. But that was last century, of course.

How things have changed in the first few years of the new century. The floodgates were opened with that latter-day Joshua, alias Joschka (Fischer), and Jacob, alias Jacques (Chirac), and a lot of fellow travellers eager to take us into a new Promised Land in which Europe (or at least the bit of Europe that, in their opinion, counts) will have a constitution. Even The Economist jumped into the fray with its Draft Constitution. And now we have the Convention whose President has not shied away from naming the European Philadelphia and which in all likelihood will produce a document in the title of which the word 'constitution' will surely figure.

What is interesting and, indeed, admirable is the speed by which constitutional rhetoric has been normalized and mainstreamed and how quickly

The writing of this book was completed in October 2002.

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