European integration confronts us with the limits of current constitutional and democratic language. The way out of this impasse will only appear through a refinement of what we consider the European Union to be as a political entity and of our concepts of democracy.
In this challenging and thoughtful new book Professor Verhoeven recognizes the continuity of this project with social contract theory and the federal ideal --and uncovers the specific aspects of democracy and constitutionalism the EU has already embraced -- while showing how the terms and presuppositions of those persistent conceptual frameworks must be fundamentally revised.
At the root of these necessary revisions lies the irreversible onset of multiculturalism and globalisation, twin challenges that force us to reconsider issues of sovereignty and self-governance.
rofessor Verhoeven does not neglect the much-debated issues at the centre of her topic. Her analysis extends to such critiques as the view of the European constitution as a Court-led process of vertical integration, the meaning of EU citizenship, variability in EU decision-making procedures, the concept of institutional balance, territorial differences in the application of EU law, the whole area of delegated rule-making and the relationship between the European and national legal orders.
As a thorough investigation of how democracy and constitutionalism can be reconceptualised in order to meet the challenge of European integration, The European Union in Search of a Democratic and Constitutional Theory will greatly reward the attention of lawyers, policymakers, and scholars in the field.
- Democratic and Constitutional Theory at the Cross-Roads.
I. Democracy, Legitimacy and Constitutionalism: Basic Notions.
II. Statal Democratic and Constitutional Theory under the Twin Challenges of Globalisation and Multiculturalism.
- The Democracy Deficit and the Constitutional Deficit.
I. Diagnosing the Democracy Deficit of the European Union.
II. Overcoming the Standard Vision on European Constitutionalism.
- The Constitution of the European Union Revisited.
I. What Constitution Does the European Union Have?
II. The European Union as Process towards an Ever Closer Union.
III. Citizenship as Supranational Demos.
- Managing Unity in Diversity: The Challenge of Variability.
I. Introduction: Variability as a Challenge to Democratic Constitutionalism.
II. Decisional Variability: The Question of Democratic Representation.
III. On Territorial Variability
- European and Member State Law: Autonomous Systems in a Common Constitutional Area.
I. Towards a Pluralist Understanding of the Relationship between the European and National Legal Orders.
II. Fundamental Rights Protection in a Moderate Pluralist Setting.