Charter 88, Democratic Constitutionalism and Europeanisation: Ambiguous Relationships?
Posted: 5 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 2009
This paper examines the complex and ambiguous relationship between Charter 88, its philosophy of democratic constitutionalism and the Europeanisation of the UK. On the one hand, increased European linkages have proved helpful to the achievement of many of the Charter's domestic goals. Nevertheless, the modalities of European political integration sit in a relationship of tension with the Charter's democratic constitutionalist philosophy. As an organisation, Charter/Unlock Democracy has shown only a limited awareness of this tension and, in particular, has failed to appreciate the considerable difficulties of creating a genuine demos at the European level. This article argues that democratic constitutionalism would best be served a more modest and focused EU which respects popular sovereignty and matches its competences to those legitimately managed by transnational governance mechanisms.
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