IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

La Constitution économique parmi les Constitutions européennes


  • Kaarlo Tuori


In the European context, the place of the revolutionary notions of constitutive power, demos and constitutional moment is occupied by the evolutionary concept of constitutionalisation. Economic constitution is merely one aspect in multi-dimensional European constitution (alisation). My tentative proposal is to distinguish between the following dimensions of constitution : economic constitution ; juridical constitution ; political constitution ; social constitution ; and security constitution. In this classification, economic constitution is about the relation of law to the fundamentals of the economic system ; juridical constitution concerns the fundamental features of the legal system and establishes a reflexive relation of the law with itself ; and through political constitution, the law regulates the political system or – to use different political vocabulary – the polity, and contributes to both its empowerment and containment. The ultimate object of the social constitution consists of the members of society, their social life-world, while security constitution addresses society’s internal and external security risks. According to my (hypo) thesis, European constitutionalisation is susceptible to a periodisation where each stage receives its particular colouring from a particular constitution. Reflecting the temporal and functional primacy of economic integration, the first wave proceeded under the auspices of economic constitution ; in the second phase, the emphasis shifted to juridical constitution ; during the third wave, the focus was transferred to political constitution ; and finally, in our contemporary age, since, say, the Amsterdam Treaty (1998) the pacemaker role appears to have been taken by security constitution. Such a temporal succession should not be interpreted in the sense of one constitutional aspect replacing or supplanting another one ; rather, the constitutional dimensions complement each other. Thus, history of the economic constitution does not end with the first period of constitutionalisation. The economic constitution has retained its functional primacy, and, correspondingly, the non-economic constitutional dimensions have largely developed as a response to the demands raised or the consequences caused by the economic one. But relations between aspects of constitution can also be of a conflictual nature. Before the European Court of Justice, conflicts often assume the guise of contests between different types of rights : between, on the one hand, rights related to market freedoms and, on the other hand, civil and political or social rights.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaarlo Tuori, 2011. "La Constitution économique parmi les Constitutions européennes," Revue internationale de droit économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(4), pages 559-599.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:riddbu:ride_254_0559

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: free

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: free


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cai:riddbu:ride_254_0559. 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: (Jean-Baptiste de Vathaire). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.