Journal Article

The moral distinctiveness of the European Union

Pavlos Eleftheriadis

in International Journal of Constitutional Law

Published on behalf of The New York University School of Law

Volume 9, issue 3-4, pages 695-713
Published in print October 2011 | ISSN: 1474-2640
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1474-2659 | DOI:
The moral distinctiveness of the European Union

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  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • UK Politics


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This article is a comment and reflection on Joseph Weiler's essay, The Political and Legal Culture of European Integration: An Exploratory Essay. The article responds to Weiler's argument by sketching a philosophical framework within which we may understand the moral distinctiveness of the EU. The argument is informed by the international political theories outlined by Kant and Rawls, according to which the domain of international institutions is distinct from that of domestic politics. If the European Union is an international project for the achievement of international and cosmopolitan objectives, then the virtues that it ought to promote are not those of the state. Instead, the relevant virtues are outward looking in that they require respect to other nations and citizens as equal members of the society of peoples.

Journal Article.  10227 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law ; UK Politics

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