Constitutional Failure or Constitutional Odyssey? What Can We Learn from Comparative Law?
Perspectives on Federalism, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 51-77, 2011
Posted: 21 Jul 2011 Last revised: 13 Dec 2013
Date Written: July 21, 2011
According to many scholars, the rejection of the Constitutional Treaty and the disappointment caused by the contents of the Lisbon Treaty - defined by Somek (2007) as a mere post-Constitutional Treaty – mark the failure of any possible constitutional ambition for the European Union (EU). This point can be challenged both from a theoretical point of view - by describing the EU as an example of “evolutionary constitutionalism” - and a pragmatic one (i.e., looking at the functioning of concrete constitutional experiences), I will focus my paper on this second point, insisting on comparative argument. The research question of this work is: Can we compare the “constitutional crisis” of the EU to the constitutional difficulties encountered by other multinational experiences? My idea is that the latest attempts at amending the EU treaties – the period of the “Conventions” - can be traced back to the genus of mega-constitutional politics and starting from this parallelism I argue that the so-called constitutional “failure” of the EU is actually a confirmation of the current constitutional nature of the EU rather than the proof of the impossibility of transplanting the constitutional discourse to the EU level.
Keywords: European Union, European Constitution, Canada, Switzerland, comparative law, Constitutional Odyssey
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation