POSTS BY Matej Avbelj

The Ljubljana Initiative for Re-Launching the European Integration

It is a sign of unconventional times when earnest people wish you a less exciting year 2017 compared to the one that has just, luckily, passed. Starting a new year, a less exciting one then, is an opportunity for reckoning about the past and for charting the plans for the future. For those who care about the project of European integration, these are no easy moments. By looking back we are reminded about the chain of crises that has been strangling the Union. By looking forward we cannot help ourselves but to wring hands at what is yet to follow. It is high time that this self-destructive European (indeed Western) narrative and, unfortunately, praxis were put to a halt. It is high time to present a positive alternative to the present status quo and to the populist decay. It is high time to re-launch the process of European integration.

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High time for popular constitutionalism!

Not long ago the advent of illiberal democracy has been announced. It has been mocked, downplayed, but also seriously critically engaged with, including by the authors of this blog. However, since the idea has come from marginal countries in the European East, from Hungary, Poland, but also Slovenia and the likes, it has not been really perceived as an objective threat to the Western constitutional order. The election of Donald Trump, not for who he is, but what he has been standing for, must change this.

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Transformation of EU Constitutionalism

The EU constitutionalism has been transformed. For the worse. The causes for that are well known. They are the sum of consecutive, unresolved financial, economic, political, humanitarian and security crises. This post is not interested into causal relationship between the crises. It centers instead on their aggregate negative outcome and the possible way ahead. It asks what exactly the EU constitutionalism, as a dominant narrative of European integration, has (d)evolved into and what can be done to fix its fissures?

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Now Europe Needs a Constitution

I am a constitutional sceptic. I have been turned into one a decade ago, when the European Union embarked on its first ever process of explicit documentary constitutionalization. That process ended up in tatters. There are strong legal, socio-political and philosophical reasons that speak against endowing the European Union with a constitution understood in conventional terms. However, they may no longer be strong enough.

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Slovenia constitutionally reloaded, but still failing

Some time ago this blog has lent itself as a platform for an intense debate on a systemic rule of law and democracy defiance in several EU Member States, most notably in Hungary. In that context, I contributed a short post on what I then called the de facto failed Slovenian democracy. I described a judicial process against the leader of the opposition, who was accused and convicted with the force of res judicata exclusively on the basis of circumstantial evidence for having accepted a promise of an unknown award at a vaguely determined time, at an undetermined place and by an undetermined mode of communication to use his influence, then as a Prime Minister, to have a military contract awarded to the Finnish company Patria. The ruling was confirmed by the Supreme Court and then appealed to the Constitutional Court. Two days ago the latter quashed the entire process.

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Slovenia: a de facto failed constitutional democracy

Apparent abuse and instrumentalization of law, through the actions and omissions of the judiciary, to eliminate particular political opponents and to consolidate political, economic, legal-institutional and finally overall social power in the hands in which it has rested so far, that is the old-new post-communist elite – indeed, this is happening in a country which used to be known as the best disciple among the new Member States of the European Union.

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Will Slovenia join Hungary and Romania as examples of constitutional back-sliding?

Just weeks from the election, the Slovenian opposition leader will be sent to jail on dubious corruption charges – unless the Constitutional Court intervenes this week. Slovenia will find itself in an unprecedented constitutional regression and join the notorious Hungarian and Romanian examples of apparent constitutional back-sliding.

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The Hungarian Dilemma from a Pluralist Perspective

The constitutional and political developments in Hungary in the last few years have stirred a lot of controversies and also raised significant academic attention. This blog has provided not only a wonderful forum for an exchange of different views, but it has also produced original and thought-provoking proposals for tackling the Hungarian problem. However, the […]

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