Deciphering the Political and Legal DNA of European Integration*

JHH Weiler

in Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199588770
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741029 | DOI:

Series: Philosophical Foundations of Law

Deciphering the Political and Legal DNA of European Integration*

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This chapter examines some of the recent political failings of the EU from the point of view of political theory and political history. It argues that the democratic deficit and lack of accountability of EU institutions has not been remedied by the Lisbon Treaty. It considers that at the root of these problems lies a fundamental flaw in institutional design. The founders of the Union were motivated by an integrationist zeal, a so-called “political messianism.” Thinking along such lines has obscured the ways in which EU institutions have undermined political legitimacy. While not offering any concrete blueprint for new institutions, the chapter sounds an optimistic tone when it argues that principles of democracy and a particular conception of the rule of law may offer a remedy.

Keywords: European Union; political theory; political history; institutional design; political messianism; political legitimacy; democracy; rule of law

Chapter.  12468 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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