The Constitutionalization of the European Union

The Constitutionalization of the European Union


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This volume presents a theory of constitutionalization as well as comparative analyses and case studies to underscore the claim that the European integration process itself engenders a democratic self-healing mechanism.

There exists a consensus among academics, politicians, and the public that the European Union suffers from a ‘democratic deficit’. But how can it be resolved? This book deals with two core areas central for the development of the liberal-democratic constitutional state: the extension of the powers of representative assemblies and the institutionalization of human rights. The European Union has made remarkable progress in these two areas over the past half century. Whenever a planned step of European integration through transfers of sovereignty threatens to undermine domestic standards of parliamentary control and human rights standards, political elites in the member states regularly mobilize to counteract these developments. The proponents of the Union’s ‘constitutionalization’ regularly invoke democratic and human rights norms shared by all members of the European Union to successfully exercise moral pressure on the sceptics of further constitutionalization.

This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415568654
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Berthold Rittberger is Junior professor in Comparative Politics at the Kaiserslautern University of Technology

Frank Schimmelfennig is Professor of European Politics at ETH Zurich.

Table of Contents

1. Explaining the constitutionalization of the European Union. Berthold Rittberger and Frank Schimmelfennig. 2. Conditions for EU constitutionalization: a qualitative comparative analysis. Frank Schimmelfennig, Berthold Rittberger, Alexander Bu¨rgin and Guido Schwellnus. 3. Constitutionalization through enlargement: the contested origins of the EU’s democratic identity. Daniel C. Thomas. 4. ‘No integration without representation!’ European integration, parliamentary democracy, and two forgotten Communities. Berthold Rittberger. 5. Guarding the guards. The European Convention and the communitization of police co-operation. Wolfgang Wagner. 6. Competition and community: constitutional courts, rhetorical action, and the institutionalization of human rights in the European Union. Frank Schimmelfennig. 7. Reasons for constitutionalization: non-discrimination, minority rights and social rights in the Convention on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Guido Schwellnus. 8. Towards the constitutionalization of aliens’ rights in the European Union? Sandra Lavenex. 9. Comment: Shaming the shameless? The constitutionalization of the European Union. R. Daniel Kelemen. 10. Comment: Fact or artefact? Analysing core constitutional norms in beyond-the-state contexts. Antje Wiener.

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