Economic and Social Integration

The Challenge for EU Constitutional Law

Dagmar Schiek, Chair, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

The book draws on a unique content and discourse analysis of all Grand Chamber decisions on substantive EU law since May 2004. It finds the EU’s ‘judicial constitution’ to be more nuanced and more uniform than expected. While the Court of Justice enforces the constitution of integration, it favours economic freedoms under mainly liberal paradigms, but socially embeds constitutionalism in citizenship cases. The ‘judicial constitution’ contrasts with EU Treaties after the Treaty of Lisbon in that their new value base enhances European social integration. However, the Treaties too seem contradictory in that they do not expand the EU’s competence regime accordingly. In the light of these contradictions, Dagmar Schiek proposes a ‘constitution of social governance’: the Court and EU institutions should encourage steps towards social integration at EU level to be taken by transnational societal actors, rather than condemn their relevant activity.

‘Dagmar Schiek has written a timely and vital book. Following financial and sovereign debt crises, the European Union is in crisis. As responses to crisis – for example fiscal union – appear to be couched in wholly technocratic terms, a European public is entitled to ask whether the European Union has any respect for established national traditions of social constitutionalism and social welfare. Dagmar Schiek addresses these questions, both in a historical and contemporary context of social constitutionalism, arguing forcefully for the need to establish social legitimacy within Europe. I recommend this book to all researchers and students of European Union.’
– Michelle Everson, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

‘Is there a “European social space”? What is the place of “social integration” alongside “economic integration” in the EU? Has a “socially embedded constitutionalism” been developed in parallel with the internal market case law of the CJEU? Dagmar Schiek in her comprehensive and interdisciplinary study gives refreshing new answers under the recent Lisbon Treaty.’
– Norbert Reich, Universität Bremen, Germany

‘At a time of crisis and therefore a crucial juncture in European politics, Dagmar Schiek offers us an inspiring vision of the potential of the European Union. In her brilliant study, she exposes the obstacles that economic integration has posed for achievement of social justice, and provides a bold solution. Rejecting more limited models of constitutionalism, she presents a convincing alternative which is socially embedded, allowing space for action by manifold actors at multiple levels of governance.’
– Tonia Novitz, University of Bristol, UK

2013 352 pp Paperback 978 1 78347 261 1 £37.00 £29.60 $58.00 $46.40
2012 352 pp Hardback 978 1 84844 542 0 £100.00 £90.00 $144.00 $129.60

Elgaronline 978 1 78100 517 0

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