The chapter examines the role of human dignity in structuring the relationship between the European Union and its member states. This constitutional role of human dignity is first explored in the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, followed by analysis of the leading human dignity cases in the national constitutional jurisprudence. The second part of the chapter situates this jurisprudence in a theoretical context to examine which theories of EU legal pluralism best capture the described judicial practice. Noting the apparent descriptive shortcomings between the leading pluralist theories and empirical treatment of human dignity in national and EU law, the chapter concludes by advancing our own theory of principled legal pluralism. It is argued that it makes a better case for the practice of human dignity in European law than the other pluralist theoretical accounts.
The chapter addresses the phenomenon of human rights inflation in the European Union (EU). It argues that when it comes to human rights protection in the EU, less might be more. The inflationary trend of investing nominally into human rights poses a risk of being self-defeating and should be stopped. Instead, human rights have to be taken seriously in practice by the competent actors on the level closest to where human rights violations actually occur. This requires theoretical, doctrinal and institutional adjustments across the European constitutional space. Some of those are presented in the conclusion of the chapter, while the preceding sections trace how and why the EU embarked on its human rights inflationary route, as well as why exactly this inflation causes harm to the value of human rights protection.
This article examines the challenges of transnational law for democracy in the European Union in times of economic crisis. The concept of democracy is fleshed out first. This is followed by a two-pronged study of the internal and external democracy-affecting processes, taken separately as well as jointly, and of their impact on democracy in the European Union. Finally, some normative proposals, embedded in the theory of legal pluralism, to improve the state of European Union democracy in the present unfavourable internal and transnational environment are offered in the conclusion.