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What is Left of the European Economic Constitution?

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  • Christian Joerges

Abstract

The essay starts from the assumption that the efforts to cure Europe’s democracy deficits will also have to address the social problématique of the Europeanization process. This is a challenge with new dimensions. Europe had started its integrationist path as a mere economic community. In its formative era, the constitutional perspectives of German Ordo-liberalism were attractive. In the ordo-liberal account, the European polity has a twofold structure: At supranational level, it is committed to economic rationality and a system of undistorted competition. Redistributive (social) policies could – and should – be left to the Member States. This edifice was refined in the 1970s and 80s. Monetary Union and the Stability Pact completed it. The German Constitutional Court’s Maastricht judgment endorsed its constitutional validity. However, the new dynamics and the strive for an ever closer Union in the Maastricht Treaty has led to a strengthening of European regulatory policies and a broadening of their scope, which were incompatible with the ordo-liberal legacy. The erosion of the economic constitution has not paved the way to a cure for Europe’s social deficit. Neither the Open Method of Co-ordination nor the commitment to a social market economy in the Constitutional Treaty nor the new social rights provide a conceptually sufficient and politically credible basis for this end.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Joerges, 2004. "What is Left of the European Economic Constitution?," EUI-LAW Working Papers 13, European University Institute (EUI), Department of Law.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euilaw:p0013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Follesdal, Andreas & Hix, Simon, 2005. "Why There is a Democratic Deficit in the EU: A Response to Majone and Moravcsik," European Governance Papers (EUROGOV) 2, CONNEX and EUROGOV networks.
    2. Mario Savino, 2005. "The Constitutional Legitimacy of the EU Committees," Les Cahiers européens de Sciences Po 3, Centre d'études européennes (CEE) at Sciences Po, Paris.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:01:p:29-43_05 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2007. "What (Economic) Constitution does the EU need?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-04, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    2. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2006. "Country size and strategic aspects of structural reforms in the EU," Post-Print hal-00976439, HAL.
    3. Jim Davies, 2009. "Entrenchment of New Governance in Consumer Policy Formulation: A Platform for European Consumer Citizenship Practice?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 245-267, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Europeanization; legitimacy; multilevel governance; national autonomy; direct effect; economic law; European citizenship; harmonisation; supremacy;

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