Chapter

Constitutionalism and Representation

Sonja Puntscher Riekmann

in The Twilight of Constitutionalism?

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585007
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585007.003.0006

Series: Oxford Constitutional Theory

Constitutionalism and Representation

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This chapter first challenges the nexus between constitutionalism and nationhood, arguing that like the nation states, which are also the outcome of integration processes merging regions into states, the EU must accommodate difference and that until now she does so by veiling constitutionalism. It then argues that the current problems of the Union resulting from the rejection of treaty revisions stem from the citizens' lack of trust in organs of supranational and national representation, and that this wont is fuelled by the colliding systems of representation simultaneously based on supranationalism and on intergovernmentalism. It discusses the citizens' ambivalences regarding their trust in European institutions as they surface in public opinion polls, and interprets them as a misfit of expectations and results of European politics. Finally, it discusses the democratic potential offered by the Treaty of Lisbon to bridge the gap between representatives and represented through a combination of enhanced parliamentarism and citizens' involvement. Despite all the shortcomings and paradoxes created by the IGC, the ‘Treaty of Parliaments’, it is argued that it would indeed mark a significant turn in European constitutionalism.

Keywords: EU; constitutionalism; nationhood; supranationalism; intergovernmentalism; Treaty of Lisbon

Chapter.  9224 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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