The EU as a confederal union of sovereign member peoples : exploring the potential of American (con)federalism and popular sovereignty for a constitutional theory of the EU

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The EU as a confederal union of sovereign member peoples : exploring the potential of American (con)federalism and popular sovereignty for a constitutional theory of the EU

Title: The EU as a confederal union of sovereign member peoples : exploring the potential of American (con)federalism and popular sovereignty for a constitutional theory of the EU
Author: Cuyvers, Armin
Publisher: Europa Institute, Faculty of Law, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2013-12-19
Keywords: EU
Confederalism
Federalism
Comparative law
EU Constitutionalism
American Confederation
US Federation
EMU
Euro
European democracy
Democratic legitimacy
Constitutional theory
Constitutional comparison
Sovereignty
Popular sovereignty
Sovereignty and the EU
Legal Pluralism
Abstract: This thesis explores a conception of the EU as a modified confederal system of sovereign member peoples and their states. A confederal conception which demonstrates how, contrary to popular belief, European integration does not conflict with sovereignty or democracy. For, properly conceived and constituted, the EU reasserts the sovereignty of the member peoples, and liberates national democracy from the confines of the state. To this end, this thesis reconnects the EU to two classic constructs of constitutional theory: confederalism and sovereignty. Two powerful but unfashionable constructs whose joint potential for European integration remains largely unexplored and undervalued. The primary instrument to explore this potential is comparative. The EU is contrasted with the rather unknown but rich example of the American Articles of Confederation, and their evolution into the now famous American federate system. A comparison with the confederal roots of the United States which is revealing for both confederalism and sovereignty, and illustrates the potential of linking both for a constructive constitutional theory of the EU. A theory which does not have to overcome history and the statal system it has created, but connects with it. A theory, therefore, that may help to recapture the EU and the increasing authority it wields, both in theory and in practise. The thesis is subdivided in three parts. Part I addresses confederalism. It demonstrates how the constitutional system of the EU combines a confederal foundation with a federate superstructure, and explores the particular strengths, weaknesses and limits of this modified confederal system. Part II discusses sovereignty. It first demonstrates how the EU forms a logical confederal evolution of popular sovereignty, and how European integration does not conflict with sovereignty. Subsequently, it shows how the concept of confederal sovereignty equally helps to dispel the presumed conflict between statism and pluralism, how it respects and conciliates national and EU claims to supremacy, and how it allows a confederal evolution of national democracy, which updates democracy to the global reality it is to control. Part III applies the findings of Part I and II to the EMU crisis and the challenge of establishing an effective democratic foundation for the EU at the national level. An application which demonstrates the concrete and attractive contributions a confederal approach can make to addressing some of the core challenges facing the EU.
Description: Promotores: C.A.P. Hillion, A.A.M. Kinneging
With Summary in Dutch
Faculty: Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid
Citation: Cuyvers, A., 2013, Doctoral Thesis, Leiden University
Series/Report no.: Meijers Reeks;MI-227
ISBN: 9789462035003
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/22913
 

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application/pdf Full Text 2.011Mb View/Open
application/pdf Title Pages_Acknowledgements_Contents 124.6Kb View/Open
application/pdf Introduction 126.9Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part I: Chapter 1 252.4Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part I: Chapter 2 434.1Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part I: Chapter 3 225.5Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part I: Chapter 4 157.4Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part I: Chapter 5 132.6Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part I: Chapter 6 105.7Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part II: Chapter 7 121.8Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part II: Chapter 8 202.0Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part II: Chapter 9 173.5Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part II: Chapter 10 243.6Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part II: Chapter 11 108.1Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part III: Chapter 12 159.4Kb View/Open
application/pdf Part III: Chapter 13 191.2Kb View/Open
application/pdf Conclusion 127.5Kb View/Open
application/pdf Summary in English 166.1Kb View/Open
application/pdf Summary in Dutch 219.3Kb View/Open
application/pdf Bibliography_Case Law_Curriculum Vitae 177.7Kb View/Open

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