The decision of the European Council to introduce a rule of law mechanism in the budget of the EU marks the emergence of a new model of transnational governance in Europe.
The European Model of Transnational Governance, as it may be called, has arisen alongside the prevailing Westphalian System of International Relations, according to which the EU had either to become a federal state or to form a confederal union of states.
However, the Westphalian imperative has not materialised. By establishing itself as a Union of democratic States, based on the rule of law, which also functions as a constitutional democracy of its own, the EU has evolved into a new category of international law.Read more
If the Commission Juncker is to deserve a place in history, it may well be because of its efforts to democratize the EU. At the start of its term in 2014, the Commission Juncker included ‘democratic change’ in its ten policy priorities and towards the end of its time in office it has submitted a Roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. The roadmap must lead to a meeting of the European Council in 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu and citizens are invited to participate in the debate via #EURoad2Sibiu.Read more
The debate about the future of Europe has been deadlocked ever since the start of the process of European integration in the midst of the 20th century. According to one school of thought the process had to result in the emergence of a federal State of Europe, while another theory held that the participating states should aspire to form a Europe of Nation States or a Europe des Patries. Both theories underlined that there were no other options available. The present blog aims to demonstrate that both theories are outdated and have to be replaced.Read more
In January 2013, PM David Cameron delivered a speech on Europe in which he announced his decision to give the people a say on British membership of the EU. His address, which triggered a series of blogs on this website about the nature of the EU, contained a remarkable dichotomy. In the ensuing debate, the EU proved to be unable to defend itself against the accusations of its opponents that it forms a ‘Fourth Reich’, a modern Leviathan or even the reincarnation of the medieval Golem of Prague.Read more
Although EU citizenship has become one of the most distinctive symbols of the European Union since its foundation in 1992, the majority of UK voters have decided to leave the EU and to relinquish their rights as citizens of the Union. As discontent in other member states is growing too, the European Council should shed new light on the relation between the EU and its citizens through the adoption of a Citizens’ Declaration at its earliest opportunity. Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma, author of the EU-monograph: From Common Market to Common Democracy.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
In 2010, an important State reform took place in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Three little islands, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, too small to become a state in this federal Kingdom, are from October 10, 2010, governed by the Dutch Parliament in The Hague. The legislation introduced for these islands contained some paragraphs on language. The islands have their own home-languages, on Bonaire most of the inhabitants speak Papiamentu, on the other islands English is the common language. In the case of Bonaire a language regulation had to be made, to codify rules on the use of written Papiamentu in government documents.Read more
On June 28, 2011 a conference was held about The European Union (hereafter EU) as a Polity in International Law at the Academy Hall of the Peace Palace, The Hague, The Netherlands. The conference was held at the initiative of Mr. Jaap Hoeksma, Director of Euroknow. This initiative was supported by Dr P. H. Kooijmans, Prof Dr L-J Brinkhorst, Dr W.F. van Eekelen, Dr W.van Gerven and Dr Th. van Boven.
The theme of the conference was the legal status of the European Union and its relationship with international law.From its inception, the main goal of the European Union and its integration in the legal as well as political systems of the Member states has been faced with conceptual problems regarding the final goal of the establishment of the European Union. The purpose of the conference was to discuss whether the Lisbon Treaty has overcome the problems by constructing the EU as a democratic polity without turning the Union into a state. If so, what are the consequences for the place of the EU as a polity in international law and for its role in international relations?Read more