From Common Market to Common Democracy

Presentation new article 1 TEU in Peace Palace Library on 4 March 2016 at 16.00 hours

In the wake of the meeting of the European Council, during which the conditions for the continuation of the British membership of the EU have been negotiated, the Dutch philosopher of law Jaap Hoeksma will be presenting an alternative for the disputed term 'ever closer union'. The event will take place in the Historical Reading Room of the Peace Palace on 4 March 2016 at 16.00 hours.

In a series of blogs on the Peace Palace Library website ( Hoeksma has analysed the Westphalian system of International Relations. According to the Westphalian paradigm the EU should either become a sovereign State of Europe or form a Europe of sovereign States. Having concluded that the present EU is neither of the two, the author suggest that the Union is gradually developing towards a European democracy, in which the citizens are not only entitled to participate in the national democracies of their countries, but also in the common democracy of the Union.

In the monograph From Common Market to Common Democracy, which he has written on the basis of the PPL-blogs, the author applies theory to practice by suggesting to replace the phrase 'ever closer union ' with the term 'common democracy'. This substitution will not only allay British fears that the EU is destined to become a federal state, but will also give the Union, its member states and its citizens a new sense of purpose and direction. Thus, the first article of a new EU Treaty may read as follows:

"This Treaty marks a new stage in the process of creating a common democracy among the peoples of Europe, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens."

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