After Finalité? The Future of the European Constitutional Idea
EUI Working Paper No. LAW 2007/16
22 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2007
Date Written: June 2007
This paper sets out to examine the prospects for EU constitutionalism in the light of the protracted and perhaps insuperable difficulties surrounding the ratification of the 2004 Constitutional Treaty. It argues that these difficulties simply reinforce the need for thinking about the EU's constitutional settlement in non 'finalist' terms. The EU polity has always been and remains dynamic and open-ended, and so the attempt to 'contain' it within a final settlement is probably in practice misconceived, as well as leading to deep disagreement about the terms of any such purported final agreement. The constitutional idea remains a powerful one - a key way for the European polity to think about itself seriously as collective project rather than the sum of it various national parts - provided the association of constitutional thought and method with finalité is broken.
Keywords: European convention, treaty reform, constitution building, referendum, identity
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