The Crisis of the European Union: A Response by Jürgen Habermas

By Jürgen Habermas

In the middle of the present drawback that's threatening to derail the historic venture of ecu unification, Jürgen Habermas has been essentially the most perceptive critics of the ineffectual and evasive responses to the worldwide monetary difficulty, particularly by means of the German political category. This prolonged essay at the structure for Europe represents Habermas’s confident engagement with the ecu venture at a time while the hindrance of the eurozone is threatening the very life of the European

Union. there's a starting to be attention that the ecu treaty should be revised so one can care for the structural defects of economic union, yet a transparent point of view for the longer term is lacking. Drawing on his research of eu unification as a procedure during which foreign treaties have steadily taken on good points of a democratic structure, Habermas explains why the present proposals to remodel the process of eu governance into considered one of govt federalism is a mistake. His vital argument is that the eu undertaking needs to notice its democratic capability through evolving from a world right into a cosmopolitan neighborhood. the outlet essay at the function performed via the idea that of human dignity within the family tree of human rights within the smooth period throws additional very important mild at the philosophical foundations of Habermas’s conception of ways democratic political associations might be prolonged past the extent of nation-states.

Now that the query of Europe and its destiny is once more on the centre of public debate, this crucial intervention via one of many maximum thinkers of our time should be of curiosity to a large readership.

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For this reason, restricting national sovereignty by transferring sovereign rights to supranational authorities by no means necessarily comes at the cost of disenfranchising democratic citizens. Such a transfer, if it only leaves the 26 Carl Schmitt, in Constitutional Theory (trans. and ed. Jeffrey Seitzer [Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008], § 17), inverted this relationship into the exaggerated reading of a plebiscitary ‘Führerdemokratie’: In exercising their collective self-assertion, especially in war, the national citizens existentially affirm a political constitution which, although it doesn’t guarantee them any democratic participation, does allow them to take stances through plebiscites.

64 (my parenthetical addition, JH). indd 36 01/03/2012 09:22 Transnational democracy/post-democratic federalism in the roles of (future) citizens of both the Union and the member states. In exercising these two roles in personal union, the constitution-funding subjects themselves must become aware that, as citizens, they will adopt a different justice perspective depending on which of the two legitimation tracks running through the Parliament and the Council, respectively, is involved – namely, the perspective of a European citizen or that of a member of a particular nation.

The organs of the federation actually enjoy the prerogatives (Art. 184–6) characteristic of the supreme constitutional authority of a federal state. indd 39 01/03/2012 09:22 The Crisis of the European Union courts vis-à-vis the primacy of application of European law. The level of publicly guaranteed civil liberties at the national level should serve as a standard which European law must satisfy before it can be applied at the national level. This first renders intelligible the relatively strong status accorded the member states, which is reflected not only in the reservation of the monopoly on the legitimate use of force and in the (for the time being still disproportional) access to European legislation.

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