Chapter

Federalism Without Constitutionalism: Europe's Sonderweg

J. H. H. Weiler

in The Federal Vision

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199245000
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599996 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199245002.003.0003
 Federalism Without Constitutionalism: Europe's Sonderweg

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Focuses on the European Union, and looks at the promise and possibilities that emerge once the federal vision is liberated from ‘statist’ conceptions of political organization. The author views attempts to transform the European project into one of federal constitutionalism along statist lines as deeply misguided. The first section points out that the constitutional discipline of Europe is in most respects indistinguishable from that of advanced federal states, but with the huge difference that Europe chose not to presuppose the supreme authority and sovereignty of its federal demos. There is then a brief analysis of some of the premises on which the constitutional debate is typically based. The rest of the chapter explains why the unique brand of European federalism represents not only its most original political asset but also its deepest set of values, and offers a normative reading of the European constitutional architecture.

Keywords: constitutionalism; Europe; European constitution; European federalism; European Union; federalism; normative analysis; statism

Chapter.  7751 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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