In this inaugural address the author discusses the nature of the European constitutional order, understood as the sum total of national constitutions and the EU constitutional order. He points out some of the shortcomings of describing this as a 'multilevel' constitutional order, which hinges on ideas of the autonomy and separateness of the various constitutional orders. In this respect thinking in 'levels' is a symptom of hierarchical structures, which cannot adequately explain the present constitutional arrangement in Europe. Instead of this, he argues for understanding the European constitutional order as an overarching dynamic complex of mutually influencing political and legal orders, in which heteronomy plays a far larger role than is admitted under the old paradigm of autonomous and separate orders which is implicit in the image of the present constitutional arrangement as one which is split into a variety of 'levels'. The approach taken by the author suggest a shift in paradigm, which is illustrated on the points of the primacy of EC law, fundamental rights protection by the Court of Justice, and the role of national parliaments.
Europa Law Publishing; January 2008
- ISBN 9789089520616
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: A Composite European Constitution
- Author: L.F.M. Besselink
Imprint: Europa Law Publishing