chapter  2
19 Pages

The implications of supranationality and legitimacy

A legal perspective
WithNicolas Levrat

Supranational law is a legal category mostly characterised by the adoption procedures and implementation mechanisms of its norms, as well as its autonomy as regards national and international law. EU law is the most sophisticated exampgle of a supranational legal system. Its specific features raise problems in terms of legitimacy. These may eventually be solved as regards rules adopted within such a legal system, but prove very problematic as regards the capacity of a supranational polity (EU) to engage in strong international regimes. It is a paradox for the EU, which should be promoting its own values and specificities (including supranationality) in its external action, but is precisely limited to engage in any strong international regime by the domestic legitimacy constraints stemming from its own supranational nature.