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

Breda, Vito (2006) A European constitution in a multinational Europe or a multinational constitution for Europe? European Law Journal , 12 (3). pp. 330-344. ISSN 1351-5993


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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2006 The Author. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Law
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2014 22:57
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2014 22:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: European constitution; constitutional pluralism; Habermas; nationalism
Fields of Research : 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180108 Constitutional Law
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160609 Political Theory and Political Philosophy
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180122 Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9403 International Relations > 940303 International Organisations
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0386.2006.00320.x
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24606

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