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Which Constitution for What Kind of Europe? Three Models of European Constitutionalism

Legitimationsgrundlagen der Europäischen Union, pp. 117-132, F. Cheneval, ed., LIT, 2006

16 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2010  

Richard Bellamy

University College London - Department of Political Science; European University Institute

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Predictably, the draft EU constitution has come in for considerable criticism – not least from many of those who had favoured this initiative most. These critics charge the constitution with being too long and complex and in particular for failing either to demarcate clearly the EU’s sphere of influence vis-à-vis the Member States or to simplify European decision-making and render it more democratically accountable to citizens.1 I believe these two common criticisms are misplaced. They reflect two models of constitutionalism, as based respectively on either agreed European norms and purposes or a sovereign European people, which prove inappropriate to the EU. Indeed, the inadequacies and resulting length and complexity of the EU constitution largely stem from the need to modify and qualify these models within the EU context. In fact, the EU already had a constitution that reflected a distinctive third model.2 This combined a neo-republican form of governance with the evolution of a European common law. I shall argue that this third model is
far better suited to the EU’s character as an evolving polity and ought to be improved and enhanced, not replaced.

Keywords: EU. Constitutionalism, Republicanism

Suggested Citation

Bellamy, Richard, Which Constitution for What Kind of Europe? Three Models of European Constitutionalism (2006). Legitimationsgrundlagen der Europäischen Union, pp. 117-132, F. Cheneval, ed., LIT, 2006 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1525473 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1525473

Richard Bellamy (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Political Science ( email )

Gower Street
London
United Kingdom
020 7679 4980 (Phone)
020 7679 4969 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/political-science/people/academic/richard-bellamy

European University Institute ( email )

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San Domenico di Fiesole (FI), Tuscany 50014
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.eui.eu/ProgrammesAndFellowships/MaxWeberProgramme/People/RichardBellamywebpage.aspx

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