Europe's Raison D'Etre

The European Union's Shaping of the International Legal Order, Dimitry Kochenov, Fabian Amtenbrink, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2013

NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-09

13 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2013 Last revised: 12 Mar 2013

See all articles by Grainne De Burca

Grainne De Burca

New York University (NYU) - Law School; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group

Date Written: March 2013

Abstract

What is the raison d’être of the European Union? Does it still make sense to ask this question today, at a time of social and economic crisis in Europe? Launched in 1952 as a kind of pilot project of limited economic integration with a view to securing greater peace and prosperity for its Member States, the EU has evolved into something much larger, more complex and more ambitious. This chapter argues, contrary to the recent suggestion of an influential commentator that the EU needs to abandon its ‘messianic’ origins and turn to ordinary process democracy, that the EU’s mission or raison d’être still matters to its legitimacy today. I argue that while the European Union at its origin was primarily inwardly focused on repairing and strengthening a damaged continent so as to deliver internal peace and prosperity, it has over the past decade become equally concerned with its external dimension. The importance of having a relatively unified European economic and political system to counterbalance the influence of existing and rising powers has become a significant part of the EU’s raison d’être today.

Suggested Citation

De Burca, Grainne, Europe's Raison D'Etre (March 2013). The European Union's Shaping of the International Legal Order, Dimitry Kochenov, Fabian Amtenbrink, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2013; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2224310

Grainne De Burca (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Law School ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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