Blowin’ against the Wind: the Future of EU trade Policy

U.S. President-elect Trump has announced his intention to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. In the EU too the wind seems to be blowing in a similar direction. There appears to be a widespread and growing anti-free-trade sentiment in some parts of the population. Should the EU, at this moment in time, continue to pursue a free trade agenda? If so, does the EU have the means to do that effectively?

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Snowden-Entscheidung des BGH: Weltpolitik in Karlsruhe?

Berlin, Washington und nun zweimal Karlsruhe: die deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen beschäftigen derzeit nicht nur Spitzenpolitiker und Diplomaten in den Hauptstädten, sondern auch die höchsten deutschen Gerichte. Während der Beschluss des Bundesverfassungsgerichts zu den NSA-Selektorenlisten für Erleichterung bei der Bundesregierung sorgte, freute sich über eine am Montag bekannt gewordene BGH-Entscheidung in der causa Snowden vor allem die Opposition. Doch führt die BGH-Entscheidung tatsächlich dazu, dass Edward Snowden in Deutschland als Zeuge aussagen wird? Wie ist sie verfassungsrechtlich einzuordnen? Und in welchem Verhältnis stehen beide Entscheidungen zueinander?

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South Africa and the ICC, or: Whose Rights Does the Constitution Protect?  

When the South African government announced that it would withdraw from the International Criminal Court, a great number of commenters expressed shock and disappointment. Legal commentators have also weighed in, questioning the legality of withdrawing from the ICC (here) and a legal challenge on several terms seems inevitable. Here, I want to consider the possibility of challenging the withdrawal on the basis of the Bill of Rights.

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The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream

The premise of this timely and important book is that the Euro crisis has placed the EU in an existential predicament that cannot be resolved in the usual fashion of yet more of the same. Though there is surprisingly little by way of a sketch of what might have been the Eurocrats’ dream, the reader is left in no doubt that we are currently living through what might best be termed the Eurocrats’ nightmare – a form of governance that falls far short of the current challenges confronting the EU, and is indeed partly promotive of them.

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The End of the European Union as We Know It

The European Union is facing a political crisis unprecedented in its 59-year history. This club of democratic countries established primarily to promote peace and prosperity in post-war Europe is facing a nationalist and populist surge that threatens the democratic principles at the very heart of the EU. Capitalizing on the European sovereign debt crisis; backlash against refugees streaming in from the Middle East, Brexit and public angst over the growing terror threat, previously fringe political parties are growing with alarming speed.

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The Future of the EU between Independence and Interdependence

Almost all contributions to the collection ‘The End of Eurocrats’ Dream’ touch upon a tension that has been implicit in the integration process from the very start, but has only explicitly manifested itself during the Euro-crisis: the tension between independence and interdependence. This tension is also evident in the refugee crisis, and in (the aftermath of) Brexit: how can we at once accept Member State autonomy (in fiscal policy, border control or deciding on the conditions for EU membership) while at the same time sustaining collective commitments towards, say, a monetary union, Schengen or free movement?

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Governing at a distance:  democratic responsibility and social solidarity in the Eurozone

As stated in its preface, this impressive collection of essays has the ambitious aim of launching a “fundamental debate” about European integration in the wake of the crisis and, in particular, the institutional reforms and policy choices made since 2008. The volume’s title already contains the basic diagnosis. European integration has fallen prey to a technocratic project – a dystopian dream which has corroded the EU’s constitutional integrity, its legitimation basis, its very point and purpose. This dream has to end, or better yet be brought to an end through an effective, if laborious, intellectual and political work. This is the basic message of the volume, shared by all its contributors.

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After the Eurocrats‘ Dream, the Contingence of the History

The Eurocrats’ dream was the stealth Europe. The Monnet method of bureaucratic integration has been mechanical and furtive, dominated by necessity. The principal leaders of integration, on the right and the left, have been driven by a crude determinism that presumed that economic development would inevitably lead to desired institutional improvements. The hidden hand of functional imperatives has been more important than reflection and choices, as if integration could be carried out without the need to make express decisions of the kind that are contained in constitutional moments.

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What comes after ,Ever Closer Union‘?  From Teleology and the ‘Managerial Constitution’ to Democracy

The process of European integration was from the outset marked by an integrationist teleology as formally stated in the objective of “ever closer union among the peoples of Europe” in the preamble of the Treaty of Rome. The core message of The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream is that this integrationist teleology has come to an end.

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Putting Europe back on its feet – A timely wake-up call

Are „Eurocrats“ to blame for the bad shape of Europe? First of all, one has to ask whether „Eurocrat“ is a meaningful term at all. Obviously one can find lots of examples in the European law and politics that demonstrate a kind of hubris and at the same time a complete failure to accomplish the goals of the „European Project“ – one needs to mention only the grand „Lisbon“ prospect of technological modernisation.

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