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Unity in diversity as Europe's vocation and conflicts law as Europe's constitutional form

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  • Joerges, Christian
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    Abstract

    'Unity in Diversity' was the fortunate motto of the otherwise unfortunate Draft Constitutional Treaty. The motto did not make it into the Treaty of Lisbon. This essay argues that it deserves to be kept alive albeit in a new constitutional perspective, namely the re-conceptualisation of European law as 'new type of conflicts law'. The new type of conflicts law which the paper advocates is not concerned with selecting the proper legal system in cases with connections to various jurisdictions. It is instead meant to respond to the increasing interdependence of formerly more autonomous legal orders and to the democracy failure of constitutional states which result from the external effects of their laws and legal decisions on non-nationals. Europe has many means to compensate these shortcomings. It can derive its legitimacy from that compensatory potential without developing federal aspirations. The paper illustrates this approach with the help of two topical examples. The first is the conflict between European economic freedoms and national industrial relations (collective labour) law. The recent jurisprudence of the ECJ in Viking, Laval, and Rüffert in which the Court established the supremacy of the freedoms over national labour law is criticised as a counter-productive deepening of Europe's constitutional asymmetry and its social deficit. The second example from environmental law concerns the conflict between Austria and the Czech Republic over the Temelín nuclear power plant. The paper criticises the reasoning of the ECJ which supports the Czech pro-nuclear policy. It does not suggest an alternative legal outcome but questions the legitimacy of legal rather than political decision-making. The introductory and the concluding sections generalise the perspectives of the conflicts-law approach. The introductory section takes issue with Max Weber's national state. The concluding section suggests a three-dimensional differentiation of the approach which seeks to respond to the need for transnational regulation and governance. -- 'In Vielfalt geeint' lautete das schöne Motto des gescheiterten Konventsentwurfs für eine europäische Verfassung. In den Vertrag von Lissabon konnte es nicht übernommen werden. Der Beitrag plädiert für seine Bewahrung in der Form einer Re-Konzeptualisierung des Europarechts als eines 'Kollisionsrechts neun Typs'. Dieses neue Kollisionsrecht befasst sich nicht mit der Wahl zwischen verschiedenen Rechtsordnungen, zu denen eine Fallkonstellation Verbindungen aufweist. Es geht ihm vielmehr um den Umgang mit externen Effekten einzelstaatlich legitimierter Gesetze und Entscheidungen in anderen Rechtssystemen. Solche Effekte sind demokratisch insofern defizitär als die von ihnen betroffenen Bürger sich nicht als deren Autoren verstehen können. In der kollisionsrechtlichen (Um-)Deutung ist es der Beruf des Europarechts, diese Demokratiedefizite der Mitgliedstaaten der EU zu kompensieren. Dieses Potential begründet seine konstitutionelle Dignität und supranationalen Geltungsansprüche. Dieses Konzept wird an zwei aktuellen Exempeln illustriert. Bei dem ersten geht es um die Konflikte zwischen den ökonomischen Freiheitsrechten, die das Unionsrecht garantiert und nationalem kollektivem Arbeitsrecht. Die Rechtsprechung des EuGH in den Fällen Viking, Laval und Rüffert wird als eine kontraproduktive Vertiefung der konstitutionellen Asymmetrie der Union und ihres sozialen Defizits kritisiert. Beim zweiten Beispiel geht es um den Konflikt zwischen Österreich und der Tschechei um das Kernkraftwerk Temelín. Die Begründung des EuGH, die der Kernenergiepolitik der Tschechei Recht gibt, wird als unzulänglich bezeichnet und gleichzeitig die Legitimität einer Rechtsentscheidung, die den energiepolitischen Konflikt beenden soll, in Frage gestellt. Der einführende und der Schlussabschnitt vertiefen und erweitern den kollisionsrechtlichen Ansatz. In der Einführung geschieht dies in einer Auseinandersetzung mit dem Nationalstaatskonzept der Freiburger Antrittsrede

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    Paper provided by University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State in its series TranState Working Papers with number 148.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb597:148

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