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Kaarlo Tuori

The chapter discusses two alternative readings of European constitutional pluralism: radical and dialogical pluralism. The conflictual reading emphasizes that no higher principle or neutral arbiter exists to resolve a controversy between contending jurisdictions, such as German constitutional law and EU law. Two main versions of the conflictual reading exist: Kelsenian and Koskenniemian. Without denying the existence or relevance of jurisdictional controversies, the dialogical reading cautions against overdramatizing them and draws attention to the potential of crossjurisdictional dialogue and cooperation. The chapter connects pluralism to perspectivism, inherent in all law, and defines perspectivism in legal cultural terms, which also facilitates an understanding of the possibility of interlegality. The theoretical issues are discussed in the light of the recent OMT case involving the German Constitutional Court and the ECJ.

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Kaarlo Tuori

The chapter tries to bring clarity to the legal theoretical debate by distinguishing between different senses of ‘legal principle’ and by analysing these in the framework of the multi-layered nature of law. Thus, the decision principles which Dworkin and Alexy have discussed as applicable legal norms, alongside legal rules, are not exactly the same as the general legal principles summarizing the normative premises of a distinct branch of law or the normative legal order as a whole. The chapter also defends the distinction between principles and policies embraced by Dworkin but downplayed by Alexy. The distinction facilitates understanding how positive law can accomplish the crucial function of self-limitation. The distinction is also important for perceiving the particularity of EU law as a policy-oriented legal order; a characteristic feature which forms a backdrop to EU law’s conflicts with the more principle-oriented national legal regimes of Member States.

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Kaarlo Tuori

Kaarlo Tuori discusses the idea of a multi-dimensional European constitution, where the political and juridical constitutions are complemented by sectoral ones, such as an economic constitution, and poses the question of whether the sectoral constitutions include a social constitution. The answer is affirmative, but with some important qualifications. These qualifications have implications for the concept of justice, which informs the European social constitution: instead of a solidaristic social justice, the European social constitution embodies access justice. The European social constitution does not replace national social constitutions (welfare states) but complements it. The main contributions of the European social constitution lie in fields that are on the fringes of the welfare state, legally speaking in what has been called regulative private law (for example consumer law). The European constitution also places constraints on national welfare states. However, these constraints derive from the European economic constitution, rather than the social constitution.