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  • From Common Market to Common Democracy

    From Common Market to Common Democracy

    Library blog - February 5, 2016

    Almost twenty five years after its foundation in 1992 the EU has established itself as a new polity in international law with an own and distinct model of governance. Contrary to the expectations of the signatories of the Maastricht Treaty the EU has neither become a state nor a free trade zone. The EU is not a State because sovereignty in the polity remains with the member States. According to the EU Court of Justice the EU is even ‘by its very nature precluded from being regarded as a State’.

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  • Welcoming a New Model of Democracy

    Welcoming a New Model of Democracy

    Library blog - September 11, 2015

    Celebrating International Democracy Day on the 15th of September, the Peace Palace Library takes pleasure in announcing the emergence of a new model of democracy. Guest blogger Jaap Hoeksma continues his series of blogs about the European Union by submitting that the EU has overcome the deadlock in the debate about its future. He argues that, from a citizens’ point of view, the aim of the EU is neither to become a sovereign State of Europe nor to form a Europe of sovereign States, but rather to function as a European democracy.

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  • Concretizing Transnational Democracy

    Library blog - August 14, 2015

    In his Models of Democracy, initially published in 2006, David Held submitted that in the 21st century democratic institutions must be developed at regional and global levels as a necessary complement to those at the level of the nation-state. A few years earlier Tony McGrew distinguished in his seminal essay on Transnational Democracy between four different accounts of transnational democracy rooted in the distinctive traditions of democratic thought, namely liberal-internationalism, radical democratic pluralism, cosmopolitanism and deliberative democracy. Whereas Held and McGrew discussed transnational democracy primarily as abstract concepts, Habermas suggested in 2014 that the European Union has to become a transnational democracy.

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  • In Want of Democratic Legitimacy: Four Presidents searching for the Soul of Europe

    In Want of Democratic Legitimacy: Four Presidents searching for the Soul of Europe

    Library blog - June 5, 2015

    In the midst of the crisis concerning the place of Greece in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the European Union (EU), the European Council will discuss a report on better economic governance in the Euro Area. As the ‘analytical note’ has been drafted by the Presidents of the European Commission, the Council, the Euro Group and the ECB, the report is referred to in inner circles as the Four Presidents’ Report.

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  • A Soul for Europe

    A Soul for Europe

    Library blog - February 20, 2015

    There is sincere doubt as to whether it will ever be possible to define the European Union. It depends on the perspective of the beholder, which she or he is likely to conclude about the nature of the Union. The present blogger tends to simultaneously agree and disagree with the authors. He concedes that the perspective from which one investigates the European Union, may determine to a large extent the conclusions which that person is likely to draw. The purpose of this blog is to describe the Union from various perspectives in a number of different ways.

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  • The Present as History

    Library blog - December 12, 2014

    Obviously, all history is shaped by the historians who create it. When we write the past, we are also writing the present. We are the history we create. What appears on the published page is imbued with our questions, our insight, our voice, our reason and our perceptions. David Armitage and Jo Guldi remind us of the importance and power of this reality in their recent publication ‘The History Manifesto’, 2014. It is also the reason why historiography is the study of historians’ interpretations of the past situated within the context of the time they wrote about that past. If historians of the future write the history of my world here on the eve of 2015, what would they see?

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  • The Identity of the European Union

    The Identity of the European Union

    Library blog - October 24, 2014

    The question concerning the nature of the EU has been one of the most contested political and academic issues of the last fifty years. From the outset, the debate about European integration has been dominated by the dilemma as to whether the project should result in the emergence of a sovereign state of Europe or in the formation of a Europe of sovereign states. This line of thought leads to the suggestion that, anno 2014, the identity of the EU may be described with the following words: the EU is a Union of citizens and member states which functions as a common democracy.

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  • Connecting Habermas with International Law

    Connecting Habermas with International Law

    Library blog - June 13, 2014

    The financial crisis has intensified the debate about the feasibility of the European Union as a new phenomenon in international law. In his essay ‘On Europe’s Constitution’, philosopher Jürgen Habermas underlines that he regards the EU as a step in the direction of a politically constituted world order. In an 2012 interview Habermas focuses on the conceptual challenges of the EU by asking the quintessential question: How should we imagine a for closer co-operation necessary, supranational association which complies with stringent demands of democratic legitimacy without assuming the shape of a state?

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  • The Origins of EU and EMU: Towards a Post-Westphalian Paradigm 02

    The Origins of EU and EMU: Towards a Post-Westphalian Paradigm

    Library blog - April 18, 2014

    The theoretical hallmark of the European Union is its flexible approach to sovereignty. According to the Westphalian system of international relations which forms the prevailing paradigm in international law and lies at the heart of the organisation of the United Nations, sovereignty is one and indivisible. States are sovereign and without sovereignty there is no State. Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma, Philosopher of Law, Director of Euroknow and Creator of the Boardgame Eurocracy.

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  • Europe: Backwards or Forwards?

    Europe: Backwards or Forwards?

    Library blog - March 14, 2014

    In an apocalyptic essay, written at the height of the euro-crisis in 2012, Joseph Weiler predicted that the European Union will turn on its member-states in a similar way as the Golem of Prague persecuted its creators in the 16th century. The author paves the way for this conclusion by attributing a dimension of ‘political messianism’ to the statements of the founding fathers, which turns the Schuman-declaration into a roadmap to ‘the Promised Land’. As messianic narratives are doomed to collapse, the European project is set to disappoint and alienate the populace as well. Consequently, the EU creates the conditions for its own destruction.

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