Marine Le Pen: a Constitutional Program Threatening the French Constitutional Regime

The recent publication of Marine Le Pen’s presidential program has been followed by many comments from the media, specialists and policy makers analysing her economic, social or security propositions. But one particular point has been missed: the different constitutional amendments she intends to achieve. With this constitutional program, her goal is to deeply reform the organization of the French state and its institutions. It is an unnamed constitutional revolution since Ms. Le Pen’s objective is to strike down French liberal democracy in order to in store an almost absolutist presidential regime.

Continue Reading →

Who Speaks in the Name of the People?  

The practice of using a referendum to justify the power of the executive has been used and abused throughout history. Napoleon who ruled like a plebiscitarian monarch can serve as the best counter example for contemporary liberal democratic regimes. All the institutions of the government, the executive, the parliament and the judiciary speak in the name of the people in our conception of the western democratic constitutionalism. It is only thanks to the checks and balances that the separation of powers provides in a conception of collaborative constitutionalism that we can avoid practices of misusing references to a supposed democratic legitimacy in view of derailing the operations of the government in a direction that is entirely out of control of democracy itself.

Continue Reading →

Schweiz: Diktatur der Mehrheit reloaded

Am Sonntag stimmen die Schweizer_innen über die so genannte "Durchsetzungsinitiative" ab. Aus diesem Anlass und vielen weiteren, die alle einzeln aufzuzählen mich in die Depression stürzen lassen würde, stelle ich erneut auf den Blog, was ich vor mehr als sechs Jahren zum Thema "Wir sind das Volk" geschrieben habe.

Continue Reading →

What will happen if the Dutch vote ‘No’ in the Referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement?

On 6 April 2016, a referendum on the approval of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement will be held in the Netherlands. This is the direct result of a new law that gives citizens the right to initiate a so-called ‘corrective’ referendum to refute decisions taken at the political level. If the "No" camp prevails, as polls suggest it will, that would not be a victory for democracy as proclaimed by the Dutch initiators of the referendum but rather the opposite. Allowing a relatively small part of the population in a relatively small member state to block the entry into force of an agreement which is approved by the national parliaments of 29 countries and the European Parliament would be very cynical. It would also undermine the consistency and legitimacy of the EU’s external action taking into account that other, largely comparable agreements would remain unaffected.

Continue Reading →