The constitutional conundrum of the European Union

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Series Details Vol.23, No.1, January 2016, p84-100
Publication Date January 2016
ISSN 1350-1763
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The euro crisis has called into question the constitutional compromises formalized in and by the Lisbon Treaty. The compromise between different (supranational and intergovernmental) interests, the compromise between member states engaged in building the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and those allowed to opt out of it and the compromise, within the EMU, between a centralized approach to monetary policy and decentralized economic policy. Unions of states, as the European Union (EU) is interpreted to be, are necessarily structured on interstate compromises, because they derive from the aggregation of states with different demographies/capabilities and national identities. However, in the EU, contrary to the other unions of states (as the United States and Switzerland), the aggregation has not been supported by an agreed constitutional framework from which to derive procedures and discourse for solving disputes and constituting new interstate compromises. This is why the wrecking of those compromises by the euro crisis has led the EU to a constitutional conundrum. From the analytical perspective used in the article, Treaty reform seems to be the necessary, although contrasted, strategy for escaping from the conundrum.

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