A pious Europe? Why Europe should not define itself as Christian
Joseph Weiler's Un'Europa Cristiana argues that there should be an explicit reference to the Christian roots of European identity in the Preamble of an eventual European Constitution. Such a claim requires discussing the groundings of European identity, its relation with personal and collective identities, and the relationship between the process of political and economic integration and the national constitutional traditions. This paper finds such a discussion proper and timely, but disagrees with Weiler's conclusions. First, it is held that the positive constitutional law of the Union and its member states does not support an explicit reference to Christian values. It is argued that Weiler's interpretation of "constitutional tolerance" does not correspond to the actual contents of European constitutional law, and that a different understanding of the 'commonality' of the common constitutional traditions is required by positive law. Second, Weiler's argument is found wanting in politico-theoretical terms. A renewed secular or republican principle is found more respectful of the religious freedom of believers and non-belivers, at the same time that an explicit reference to Christian values is found counterproductive in terms of ensuring the civic integration of all residents in the Union.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:arenax:p0027. 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: (Sindre Eikrem Hervig)
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.