Constructivism, Evolutionism and Pluralism: Europe's Constitutional Grammar
King's Law Journal, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 309-326, 2009
Posted: 17 Aug 2009
Date Written: August 14, 2009
The debate on EU constitutionalisation is at a crossroads: if constitutionalisation is conceived as a constructivist design characterised by a written document and led by a precise and linear political will, we are forced to concede that the EU constitutional process has failed. On the other hand, when constitutionalisation is conceived as a spontaneous process springing from the activity of 'cultural' forces, the latest judicial trends can be regarded as the strongest attempts to ensure the coherence of the EU's 'constitution composée'. This paper is divided into two parts. The first part, adopting a 'constructivist' approach to constitutionalisation, describes the feeling of fragmentation that characterised the EU after national referenda (in France, The Netherlands and Ireland). The second part - taking a different perspective - analyses the ECJ's reaction to the centrifugal judicial forces that were threatening its interpretative monopoly. The change of perspective (from the viewpoint of the political to that of the cultural sources of law) might lead to a less disenchanted evaluation of the current phase of EU integration than that seemingly characterising the current main literature.
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