Europe debates its destiny

Brazilian Political Science Review

Avenida Professor Luciano Gualberto, 315 - Cidade Universitária
São Paulo / SP
Telefone: (11) 3091-3780
ISSN: 19813821
Editor Chefe: Adrian Gurza Lavalle
Início Publicação: 31/12/2006
Periodicidade: Quadrimestral
Área de Estudo: Ciência política

Europe debates its destiny

Ano: 2007 | Volume: 1 | Número: 1
Autores: Sônia de Camargo
Autor Correspondente: Sônia de Camargo | [email protected]

Palavras-chave: european construction, unfinished federal state, enlargement, constitutionalization, culture and identity

Resumos Cadastrados

Resumo Inglês:

In this article, I propose to examine the issue that at present most mobilizes
the European states and public opinion within them: the modification of the institutional-
political model, in the form of a Constitutional Treaty for Europe, requiring
parliamentary or popular ratification by its twenty-five member States, within
a period that remains undecided. Events surrounding the consultation proposed
to the European governments and their citizens, indicate – particularly if we take
into account the negative votes in France and Holland, and others that may yet
occur – that the European Union is divided, raising the concern that its process of
regional integration could suffer interruption or even reversal. My analysis of the
reasons European citizens and European states find themselves divided, with emphasis
on those that separate the bureaucracy in Brussels from the EU’s citizens
and national governments, will revolve on two basic axes: the enlargement of the
EU, recently grown from fifteen states to twenty-five, and the transformation of
the EU’s political-institutional model, which in securing itself to a constitutional
anchor modifies both symbolically and substantively the degrees of sovereignty
and autonomy of Europe’s numerous political actors. So doing, this analysis will
seek support in theoretical currents that, stimulated by the importance and singularity
of the process of European construction, have been brought to bear on the
examination of the political instruments and procedures involved, their determinants,
and their consequences. Beginning with the matter of enlargement, this
article will look at the recurrent problems arising from admission of the ten new
member countries from the Center and East of the continent – that is, the “other
Europe” – formally incorporated in May 2004, and at the decisive weight this had
in the decision to formulate a Constitution for Europe. Arriving thus at my second
topic, I will reconstruct the debate between a “Europe-Union of States” and a
“Super-State Europe,” discussing issues directly connected to this classic dichotomy
– democracy, legitimacy, formation of a collective identity, division of sovereignty,
and others – which, having direct impact on European citizens, will determine the
acceptance or rejection of what is being proposed to them in the Constitutional