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  • Beyond the Westphalian Paradigm

    Beyond the Westphalian Paradigm

    Library blog - January 3, 2014

    For decades, the process of European integration has been hampered by the predominance of the Westphalian system of international relations. According to this system, which owes its name to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the process of European integration had to result either in the creation of a federal European state or in the establishment of a confederal union of states. Founded in 1992, the EU defied the Westphalian paradigm from the outset.

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  • Back to or Beyond Westphalia?

    Back to or Beyond Westphalia?

    Library blog - October 25, 2013

    The Italian banker and politician Padoa-Schioppa used to describe Great-Britain as the Venice of Europe. Drawing a comparison between the Italian unification in the 19th century and the present process of European integration, Padoa-Schioppa suggested that the UK is and will remain as reluctant to give up the pound in favour of euro as Venice has been to join the Italian lira. The implication of the comparison is, of course, that, however grudgingly, in the end the UK will accept the common European currency as well.

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  • As common democracy the EU forms a union of democratic states based on the rule of law, which also constitutes a law-based democracy of its own.

    The European Union as a Common Democracy

    Library blog - May 2, 2013

    As a young democracy the EU urgently needs to strengthen its legitimacy and accountability. The transition from a traditional union of nation states to a polity of citizens and member states requires a fundamental adjustment of governance structures. The primordial challenge for the coming decades is therefore to address the democratic deficit and to turn the EU into a living democracy.

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  • A Union of States and Citizens: The Emergence of a New Term in International Law

    A Union of States and Citizens: The Emergence of a New Term in International Law

    Library blog - March 1, 2013

    On June 28th 2011 Peter Kooijmans participated in a conference about the place of the EU in international law, which was held in the Academy Hall of the Peace Palace under the auspices of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Carnegie Foundation. According to a blog on this website, one of the participants started the debate on the presumption that ‘the EU is a thing for which lawyers have no name’.

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  • David Cameron

    Cameron and the Intricacies of the Westphalian System of International Relations

    Library blog - February 1, 2013

    In his long-awaited speech on Europe British Prime Minister David Cameron criticised the EU for its lack of democracy. PM Cameron is right insofar as the citizens of the EU can’t elect their own European government and miss the power to vote their leaders out of office. However, Cameron’s criticism would only be justified if the EU were to be considered as a sovereign state like the UK, France or Germany.

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  • The Novelty of the EU

    The Novelty of the EU

    Library blog - September 21, 2012

    For decades, the debate about the future of the European Union has been dominated by the dilemma whether the EU was to become a federal state or should establish itself as a union of states. After the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, however, it may be suggested that the deadlock in the debate about the finalité politique has been broken. The gist of this blog is to argue that the Lisbon Treaty construes the EU as a democracy without turning the Union into a state. This conclusion can be underpinned as follows.

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