A European constitution in a multinational Europe or a multinational constitution for Europe?

Article


Breda, Vito. 2006. "A European constitution in a multinational Europe or a multinational constitution for Europe?" European Law Journal. 12 (3), pp. 330-344. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0386.2006.00320.x
Article Title

A European constitution in a multinational Europe or a multinational constitution for Europe?

ERA Journal ID33307
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorBreda, Vito
Journal TitleEuropean Law Journal
Journal Citation12 (3), pp. 330-344
Number of Pages15
Year2006
Place of PublicationChichester, West Sussex. United Kingdom
ISSN1351-5993
1468-0386
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0386.2006.00320.x
Web Address (URL)http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0386.2006.00320.x/abstract
Abstract

What is the role of the nation-state in the process of European constitutional integration? How can we transcend our divisions without marginalising those who believe in them? This article critically analyses the theoretical bases of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe and tries to explain why its ratification is so problematic. Authors such as Habermas have argued that a new European model of social cohesion is needed, and Habermas suggests that the sense of 'community' in a democratic Europe should be founded exclusively on the acceptance of a patriotic constitution. However, this view is criticised by authors such as Weiler and MacCormick. In this article, I explain the limits of these theoretical analyses. I will argue that a European constitutional project can be more than formally legal only if two normative conditions are satisfied: it is the result of public debate and the European Constitution includes the procedures for the recognition of European national diversity. I suggest that a theory of constitutional multinationalism, similar to the one proposed by Tully, might provide an attractive model for a European social integration. The article is divided in two parts. In the first, I explain why Habermas' constitutional patriotism or MacCormick's states based Europe cannot provide a convincing theoretical model for a socially and constitutionally integrated Europe. In the second part, I will give an outline of Tully's idea of multinational democracy as a model for a European constitutional integration.

KeywordsEuropean constitution; constitutional pluralism; Habermas; nationalism
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480702. Constitutional law
440811. Political theory and political philosophy
480410. Legal theory, jurisprudence and legal interpretation
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Byline AffiliationsCardiff University, United Kingdom
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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