Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Constitutionalism and Dissonances – Has Europe Paid Off Its Debt to Functionalism?


Author Info

  • Marco Dani
Registered author(s):


    Abstract: The negative outcomes of the French and Dutch referenda on the Constitutional Treaty have opened a period of profound constitutional disenchantment in relation to the EU. This impression seems confirmed by the recent Presidency Conclusions of the European Council which, although salvaging many important solutions contained in the Constitutional Treaty, explicitly sanction that “the constitutional concept … is abandoned”. In the light of this context, what role could the constitutional scholarship play? How to make sense of a polity in which the claims of constitutionalism as form of power are politically unappealing though legally plausible? This article tries to respond to these questions by reaffirming functionalism as a valid analytical and normative perspective in facing the current constitutional reality of European integration. The analytical value associated with functionalism is evidenced by testing against the current context of the EU legal framework the accounts for EU constitutionalism which postulate functional equivalence between the EU and the member states. The normative potential of functionalism, then, is discussed by arguing that there may be a value worth preserving in a degree of functional discrepancy between the EU and state constitutionalism and, notably, that the transformative and civilizing dividend inherent in functionalism could still be exploited at least in certain policy-areas. Finally, the article suggests that the difficulties in accounting for EU constitutionalism in the light of state-centered constitutional theory could be regarded as symptoms of European integration marking a moment in the theoretical evolution of constitutionalism.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    File Function: Contents/abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: Part of text
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Jean Monnet Chair in its series Jean Monnet Working Papers with number 6.

    as in new window
    Date of creation: 05 Nov 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:erp:jeanmo:p0222

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Related research

    Keywords: Constitution for Europe; functionalism; fundamental/human rights;


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.



    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:jeanmo:p0222. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Charlie Pike).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.