Geschlossenheit in welchem Sinne? Europäische Verfassungsfragen beim Treffen in Malta

Beim Gipfel von Malta will die EU in punkto Migrationspolitik Geschlossenheit demonstrieren – auch gegenüber US-Präsident Trump. Die USA schultern aber den Löwenanteil der Kosten für das UN-Flüchtlingshilfswerk und für das Resettlement von Flüchtlingen. Beides unterstreicht, dass es nicht ausreichend ist, die USA an den Pranger zu stellen. Europa als ein Verbund vieler der wohlhabendsten Staaten der Welt trifft eine moralische Pflicht, gerade in so einer Situation die Idee des Flüchtlingsschutzes als einer minimalen weltbürgerlichen Solidarität aufrechtzuerhalten. Aber auch schon die von Ratspräsident Tusk betonte „Wahrung des internationalen Rechts“ macht Europa Vorgaben, was die Grenzsicherung angeht.

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National Constitutional Identity in the European Constitutional Project: A Recipe for Exposing Cover Ups and Masquerades

On November 8, 2016 the Hungarian Parliament did not adopt the Seventh Amendment of the Fundamental Law seeking to protect Hungarian constitutional identity in the face of European imposition. The Seventh Amendment was meant to cover up the minor scratch on the Government’s pride caused by lack of popular support for its relentless fight against the EU. Although the Amendment did not pass, supporters of European constitutional projects cannot afford to sit back and relax.

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The European Union and the Erosion of State Capacity

The broad assumption in Europe is that member states of the European Union inherently have the capacity to implement EU legislation. This proceeds from the general understanding of Weber’s definition of the modern state as having a monopoly of legal violence within its territory. To this can be added the capacity of the state to “read” the population, to know through censuses, registers data bases who the inhabitants of the state are and, for that matter, where they are; the ability to impose taxes; and the capacity to sustain the uniform distribution of authority.

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Die Angst vor der syrischen Großfamilie: Familiennachzug für Syrer aussetzen?

Kaum hat man sich in der Koalition darüber verständigt, an Deutschlands Grenzen keine Transit-Lager einzurichten, ist ein Streit um den Familiennachzug zu Syrern entbrannt. Syrische Schutzsuchende sollen künftig nicht den Konventionsflüchtlingsstatus (Schutz vor Verfolgung), sondern den subsidiären Schutzstatus (u.a. Bürgerkriegsflüchtlinge) erhalten und dann ihre Familienangehörigen nicht mehr nachziehen dürfen. Einmal abgesehen von der Fragwürdigkeit der derzeit kursierenden Kalkulationen: Wäre die geplante Beschränkung denn rechtlich zulässig?

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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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Brexit, Voice and Loyalty: What ‘New Settlement’ for the UK in the EU?

The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron has finally found time to write a letter to the European Council President Donald Tusk setting out the basis for the UK’s renegotiated membership of the EU. Although in recent weeks, European leaders have complained that they lacked clarity as to what it was that Mr Cameron would seek in these negotiations – despite his recent tour of European capitals – in the end, the themes contained in the letter have been well rehearsed both by the Prime Minister, and more recently by the UK Chancellor in his speech to the BDI in Germany. There are four pillars to the ‘new settlement’ sought by the UK government: economic governance, competitiveness, sovereignty and immigration. The Prime Minister’s stated aim is – through voice – for the UK to remain a member of the EU, albeit an EU with differentiated membership obligations. As he reiterated in a speech at Chatham House to trail the letter to Donald Tusk, if he succeeds in his negotiations, the Prime Minister will campaign for the UK to remain in the EU. He also made clear that a vote for Brexit would be just that, with no second referendum to seek a better deal. So what then are the key policy planks supporting the four-pillars?

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Cameron’s EU reforms: political feasibility and legal implications

David Cameron, the UK’s Prime Minister, has set out his objectives for EU reforms in a speech at Chatham House on 10 November 2015 – objectives which he later clarified in a letter to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk. Cameron’s demands fall in four categories – i) safeguarding Britain’s position in the Union’s ‘variable geometry’; ii) strengthening the competitiveness of the Union’s internal market; iii) bolstering the democratic authority of the EU by strengthening the role of national parliaments in the EU’s decision-making process; and iv) ensure changes to the principles of free movement and equal treatment of Union citizens in access to welfare systems in the host state. The political feasibility and legal implications of these objectives differ quite significantly. More crucially, each of the stated objectives can be interpreted and implemented in different ways. Generally, it seems, Cameron’s success seems to depend on presenting reforms that at the same time address British domestic issues as well as strengthen the EU’s functioning.

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