The Constitution of European Democracy

The Constitution of European Democracy


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The Constitution of European Democracy by Dieter Grimm

Europe is in crisis. With rising unrest among citizens of EU member states exemplified by the UK's decision to leave the EU, and the growing popularity of anti-EU political parties, Dieter Grimm presents the argument that Europe has to change its method of further integration or risks failure. This book, containing essays many of which have not been published in the English language to date, explores how the EU has become over-constitutionalized. Grimm argues that this has left the EU with a democratic deficit leading to the alienation of citizens.

This book highlights Europe's democracy problem. The most prominent argument running throughout is that the EU and its decision-making processes have become over-constitutionalized. This is due to the constitutionalization of European treaties, by raising them to the eminence of a constitution which in turn detaches the EU's executive and judicial institutions from member states and the EU itself.

The book also asserts that currently the EU does not have enough sources of legitimation to uphold itself, surviving solely on the legitimation provided by member states. One popular remedy is the suggestion of 'parliamentarization' of the EU, giving the European Parliament the powers typically possessed by national parliaments as a means of heightening its legitimation. This is criticized by Grimm as expanding the Parliament's powers would not change the effects of over-constiutionalization as the Parliament is inferior to the constitution.

In order to reduce the EU's legitimacy deficit, Grimm makes several recommendations. The repoliticization of the decision-making processes, which can be achieved by reducing treaties to the capacity necessary for their constitutional function; the reinvigoration of European Parliament elections, by having 'Europeanized' parties to increase engagement with European society and give voters the opportunity to more immediately influence European politics; and a new division of powers based on subject matter to restrain European expansionism, reserving particular areas of policy to the responsibility of member states even if this affects the common market.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198805120
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/29/2017
Pages: 175
Product dimensions: 8.60(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dieter Grimm, Professor of Law, Humboldt University

Dieter Grimm teaches constitutional law at Humboldt University Berlin and the Yale Law School. From 1987-1999 he served as Justice of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. From 2001-2007 he was the Director of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study) whose Permanent Fellow he continues to be. He was Visiting Professor at Harvard, New York University, Toronto, Rome, Kolkata, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai and a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study in South Africa. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Academia Europaea and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from the universities of Toronto, Gottingen, Porto Alegre, and Bucarest. He has widely published on matters of constitutional law, constitutional history, constitutional theory, comparative constitutionalism, and European Union law.

Table of Contents

1. Europe, Yes - But Which Europe?
2. In Search of Acceptance: On the Legitimacy Deficit and the Legitimacy Resources of the European Union
3. Sovereignty in Europe
4. On the Status of the EU's Democratic Legitimacy After Lisbon
5. The Democratic Costs of Constitutionalization - The European Case
6. The Cause of European Democracy Deficit is Sought in the Wrong Place
7. The Necessity of Europeanized Elections and Parties
8. The Significance of National Constitutions in a United Europe
9. The Role of National Parliaments in the European Union
10. The Role of National Constitutional Courts in European Democracy
11. The Basic Law as a Barrier Against a Transformation of the EU Into a State
12. Europe Needs Principles, Not Pragmatism

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