Edited by Anthony F. Lang and Antje Wiener
Chapter 28: The European Union and global constitutionalism
This chapter examines narratives of constitutionalism and the ebb and flow of constitutional ideas and practices within and across the European Union (EU) and its member states from the inception of the treaties to the present day. It seeks to establish to what extent the European Union manifests a ‘constitutional’ legal and political order. It focuses on the contribution of legal rules to developing constitutional structures, as well as the role of ideas in relation to legal rules. The original objectives of the so-called ‘founding fathers’ of European integration concerned the promotion of peace, prosperity and a form of non-nationalist supranationalism. In many respects, the EU has been remarkably successful, given the history of the European continent right through to the middle of the twentieth century. The ‘constitutionalised treaties’ have been at the heart of that success. But now we must pay attention to recent challenges, resulting from the financial crisis, the travails of the Eurozone, problems in the EU’s near abroad, and the arrival of large numbers of refugees at and beyond the external borders of the EU. In an era of national reactions against neo-liberalism and globalisation, the role of the EU and specifically of the Court of Justice of the EU is increasingly under question.
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