Deliberative constitutional politics in the EU

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Series Details No.5/04
Publication Date 2004
ISSN 0807-3139
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This work is comprised of contributions presented at the workshop of the same name held in June 2003 in Albarracin, Spain. It was organised by CIDEL (Citizen and Democratic Legitimacy in the EU). The two essential elements of the event were the discussion of EU constitutionalism and constitutional politics, with special attention given to the legal and political science aspects, and an evaluation of the current research of the European Convention from a procedural aspect.

The opening paper presents the overall framework of the CIDEL project and relates it to three different models of constitution making. The contributions are also treated to commentary from other participants at the workshop. Chapter three offers the next paper which addresses the perspective that the 'constitution' was, or would be somehow, an end point to the integration process. Chapter five considers the impact of the constitution making process on the legitimacy of the Union and the process of treaty-making within the Union. This question of legitimacy being present in the constitutional process is challenged and explored in the following paper, which is presented in chapter seven. The next paper examines the two distinctly different conceptions of the Convention; one being the 'realistic' view that it is mainly an intergovernmental bargaining body and the other that it has great influence on a major transformation of the Union. The next paper is presented in chapter eleven, and here the focus is upon the timing and sequencing within the Convention and their importance to both the process and the outcome of the Convention. Chapter thirteen explores the issue of representative democracy within the EU. This aspect of democratic legitimacy is also explored in chapter fifteen which compares and contrasts the deliberative democracy method of the Convention with that of the IGCs. The next paper offers a proposal of marriage to the two sides of the European constitution-making debate and suggests there are benefits to be gained from bringing the 'political' and the 'legal' processes closer. The final paper presents a summary of the workshop.

The work will interest scholars and students, researchers and policy makers engaged in European Union studies and integration politics.

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