National Constitutions in European and Global Governance: Democracy, Rights, the Rule of Law

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Publication Date 2019
ISBN 978-94-6265-273-6
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This two-volume book, published open access, brings together leading scholars of constitutional law from twenty-nine European countries to revisit the role of national constitutions at a time when decision-making has increasingly shifted to the European and transnational level. It offers insights into three areas. First, it explores how constitutions reflect the transfer of powers from domestic to European and global institutions. Secondly, it revisits substantive constitutional values, such as the protection of constitutional rights, the rule of law, democratic participation and constitutional review, along with constitutional court judgments that tackle the protection of these rights and values in the transnational context, e.g. with regard to the Data Retention Directive, the European Arrest Warrant, the ESM Treaty, and EU and IMF austerity measures. The responsiveness of the ECJ regarding the above rights and values, along with the standard of protection, is also assessed. Thirdly, challenges in the context of global governance in relation to judicial review, democratic control and accountability are examined. On a broader level, the contributors were also invited to reflect on what has increasingly been described as the erosion or ‘twilight’ of constitutionalism, or a shift to a thin version of the rule of law, democracy and judicial review in the context of Europeanisation and globalisation processes.

The national reports are complemented by a separately published comparative study, which identifies a number of broader trends and challenges that are shared across several Member States and warrant wider discussion. The research for this publication and the comparative study were carried out within the framework of the ERC-funded project ‘The Role and Future of National Constitutions in European and Global Governance’.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
    • Revisiting the Role and Future of National Constitutions in European and Global Governance: Introduction to the Research Project
    • Questionnaire for the Constitutional Law Experts of the Research Project ‘The Role and Future of National Constitutions in European and Global Governance’
  • Political or Historical Constitutions: The Predominance of Parliament with the Absence of or a Weak Role for a Constitutional Court, and a Generic or ECHR-Based Bill of Rights
    • Europe’s Gift to the United Kingdom’s Unwritten Constitution – Juridification
    • The Constitution of Malta: Reflections on New Mechanisms for Synchrony of Values in Different Levels of Governance
    • The Netherlands: The Pragmatics of a Flexible, Europeanised Constitution
    • The Constitution of Luxembourg in the Context of EU and International Law as ‘Higher Law’
    • The Role of the Danish Constitution in European and Transnational Governance
    • The Constitution of Sweden and European Influences: The Changing Balance Between Democratic and Judicial Power
    • Finland: European Integration and International Human Rights Treaties as Sources of Domestic Constitutional Change and Dynamism
  • The Post-Totalitarian or Post-Authoritarian Constitutions of the ‘Old’ Member States: An Extensive Bill of Rights, Rule of Law Safeguards and Constitutional Review by a Constitutional Court
    • European Constitutionalism and the German Basic Law
    • The Constitution of Italy: Axiological Continuity Between the Domestic and International Levels of Governance?
    • The Constitution of Spain: The Challenges for the Constitutional Order Under European and Global Governance
    • Portugal: The Impact of European Integration and the Economic Crisis on the Identity of the Constitution
    • The Constitution of Greece: EU Membership Perspectives
  • The Post-Totalitarian Constitutions of the ‘New’ Member States from the Post-Communist Area: A Detailed Bill of Rights, Rule of Law Safeguards and Constitutional Review Entrenched after the Recent Memory of Arbitrary Exercise of Power
    • The Future Mandate of the Constitution of Slovenia: A Potent Tradition Under Strain
    • The Role of the Polish Constitution (Pre-2016): Development of a Liberal Democracy in the European and International Context
    • The Czech Republic: From a Euro-Friendly Approach of the Constitutional Court to Proclaiming a Court of Justice Judgment Ultra Vires
    • Slovakia: Between Euro-Optimism and Euro-Concerns
    • The Constitution of Estonia: The Unexpected Challenges of Unlimited Primacy of EU Law
    • The Constitution of Latvia – A Bridge Between Traditions and Modernity
    • The Constitutional Experience of Lithuania in the Context of European and Global Governance Challenges
    • Romania – The Vagaries of International Grafts on Unsettled Constitutions
    • The Bulgarian Constitutional Order, Supranational Constitutionalism and European Governance
    • The Constitution of Croatia in the Perspective of European and Global Governance
  • Traditional or Hybrid Legal Constitutions: Combining Strict and Flexible Aspects, e.g. an Older or ECHR-Based Bill of Rights
    • The Constitution of France in the Context of EU and Transnational Law: An Ongoing Adjustment and Dialogue to Be Improved
    • The Belgian Constitution: The Efficacy Approach to European and Global Governance
    • The Constitution of Austria in International Constitutional Networks: Pluralism, Dialogues and Diversity
    • Ireland: The Constitution of Ireland and EU Law: The Complex Constitutional Debates of a Small Country
    • The Cypriot Constitution Under the Impact of EU Law: An Asymmetrical Formation
  • Specific Constitutional Developments
    • Introductory Editorial Note to the Hungarian Report: The Pre-2010 Rule of Law Achievements and the Post-2010 Illiberal Turn
    • Hungary: Constitutional (R)evolution or Regression?
  • Reforming the National Constitution in View of Global Governance
    • Constitutionalisation and Democratisation of Foreign Affairs: The Case of Switzerland
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