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UCL European Institute

Christian Joerges: Europe's Constitutional Form


'Unity in Diversity’ was the fortunate motto of the ill-fated Draft Constitutional Treaty. This motto deserves to be kept alive, despite this failure and even more so under the impression of the present all too rash claims for centralising moves outside cumbersome treaty amendment procedures. It seems even safe to say that the challenges that it articulates have become even more obvious: The Member States of the European Union are no longer autonomous but in many ways, inter-dependent and hence depend upon co-operation. And yet, this interdependence contrasts strikingly with an ever greater socio-economic diversity, new schisms between Eurozone countries and other members of the Union, conflicts between north and south, creditors and debtors.

In view of the diversity in the histories of European democracies, their uneven potential and/or willingness to pursue objectives of distributional justice, their different memories of economic and financial crises, differentiating answers suggest themselves. The sustainability of the whole European project seems to depend upon the construction and institutionalisation of a “third way” between or beyond the defence of the nation state, on the one hand, and federalist or quasi-federalist ambitions, on the other. Conflicts-law constitutionalism is the third way which this talk explored and defended.


Unity in Diversity as Europe’s Vocation and Conflicts Law as Europe’s Constitutional Form from UCL European Institute on Vimeo.



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