chapter  7
16 Pages

From Integration through Law to Integration through Conflict

ByRainer Nickel

The idea of integration through law was based upon the assumption, as Renaud Dehousse and Joseph Weiler aptly put it, that law is both the object as well as the agent of integration. The 'democratic deficit' of the new entity called European Union (EU) moved into the centre of attention. Neither the introduction of the co-decision procedure nor a strengthening of the subsidiarity principle was able to calm those voices that correctly expressed a growing unease about the twisted design of democratic legitimacy and control within the EU. European governance is at its core of an administrative nature: its main actors are top- and mid-level public officials sent to the Council secretariat, to the agencies, committees and working groups in Brussels and elsewhere, and those experts that are appointed by administrations in the Member States and at EU level. Constitutionalism was supposed to safeguard an additional portion of clearly defined rights and political legitimacy.