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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Need for Constitutional Compromise and the Drafting of the EU Constitution

POLITICAL THEORY AND THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION, Lynn Dobson, Andreas Follesdal, eds., Routledge, July 2004

12 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2004  

Richard Bellamy

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

Justus Schönlau

University of Exeter

Abstract

The Convention on the Future of Europe has provoked both cynicism and idealism. Cynics see it as a largely rhetorical exercise that consolidates but does not go beyond the achievements of recent intergovernmental conferences (IGCs) or greatly transform the nature of the EU. Idealists view it as offering the potential for a new departure that replaces intergovernmental bargaining with genuine deliberation to produce a genuine European consensus. According to this interpretation, a constitution should take the form of a contract that all rational individuals possessing a sense of justice would approve. This paper disputes both these views. Reasonable disagreement means that a constitutional consensus is never possible and some form of compromise necessary. Such compromises need not be simply the product of a self-interested bargain, though. There are good compromises as well as bad and ugly or poorly drafted and misguided ones. This paper provides criteria for distinguishing these three types and explores examples of each of them in the Convention on the Future of Europe and the resulting draft constitution.

Keywords: constitutionalism, Convention, intergovernmentalism, intergovernmental conference

Suggested Citation

Bellamy, Richard and Schönlau, Justus, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Need for Constitutional Compromise and the Drafting of the EU Constitution. POLITICAL THEORY AND THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION, Lynn Dobson, Andreas Follesdal, eds., Routledge, July 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=516842

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 )

Via dei Roccettini, 9
San Domenico di Fiesole (FI), Tuscany 50014
Italy

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

Justus Schönlau

University of Exeter ( email )

Northcote House
The Queen's Drive
Exeter EX4 4QX, Devon
United Kingdom

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