The Challenge for EU Constitutional Law
Chapter 2: EU Constitutional Law
2. EU constitutional law I. INTRODUCTION Before considering whether and how EU constitutional law addresses any challenges posed by economic and social integration, it will be necessary to clarify the notion of EU constitutional law. The EU has come a long way from constitutionalisation through case law by its Court of Justice, and towards establishing constitutionalism in a multilevel polity. With the rejection of the Constitutional Treaty, any capital letter ‘EU Constitution’ has been committed to history for the time being.1 Against this background, the notion of ‘constitutional law’ has been chosen deliberately: while it abandons the concept of a constitution, it maintains that there can still be constitutional law. In developing a societal notion of EU constitutional law,2 this chapter first considers national constitutions and constitutional law beyond the state, contrasting merely liberal traditions of constitutionalism with moves towards socially embedded constitutionalism and relates these types of constitutionalism to social and economic integration. It will then outline the elements of EU constitutional law. This will be the basis for identifying parameters suitable to gauge whether and how EU constitutional law meets the challenges posed by economic and social integration, especially after Eastern Enlargement and under the new constitutional framework provided by the Treaty of Lisbon. II. NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONS European constitutions were offshoots of modernity, the Enlightenment and the subsequent establishment of nation states,3 emerging either from a 1 For an article regretting this see Tsebelis, 2008; for a more recent overview see Menéndez, 2010. 2 Usually,...
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