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European integration

  • From Common Market to Common Democracy

    From Common Market to Common Democracy

    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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  • Chateau de la garde

    Wine and… European Law?!

    July 17, 2015

    At first glance wine and European Law don’t have to do much with each other. However, when one analyzes the relationship in depth, the legal aspects of wine have been (and still are) significantly important for the legal integration of the European Union and the creation of the common market. This blog focuses on these legal aspects in four judgments of the European Court of Justice and its predecessors.

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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

    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

    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 Identity of the European Union

    The Identity of the European Union

    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

    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

    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?

    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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  • Beyond the Westphalian Paradigm

    Beyond the Westphalian Paradigm

    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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  • Ukraine, Moving East or West?

    Ukraine, Moving East or West?

    December 20, 2013

    Although Yanukovych has claimed many times to seek good ties with Russia and the EU simultaneously, it seems that by refusing to sign the Association Agreement (AA) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU last November, the power balance is tipping towards Russia. As an alternative to further EU integration, Russia has been actively promoting Ukraine to join the Russian-led Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, which in the future could progress towards a further integrated Eurasian Union.

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