chapter  4
33 Pages

The European Constitution, democracy and administrative discretion

The founding treaties of the EU are not only agreements between states which are binding under international law, they are also instruments which constitute a particular type of European polity. They defi ne how certain substantive ends are to be achieved through various governmental structures and processes of choice. As such, the legitimate interpretations of the treaties may not only rely on what may deserve recognition in international relations, they may also depend on the extent to which such interpretations conform to traditional constitutional ideals, and the re-articulation of these in the post-national constellation. In other words, interpretations of the founding treaties of the EU, which aspire to be legitimate in a normative sense, are also required to give life to the hopes of constitutionalism, including, although they are not limited to, the constitutional protection of democratic ideals. In this chapter I ask how such democratic ideals are affected by the impact of the four freedoms on national administrative discretion.