Redefinitions of EU borders (enlargements, Brexit), geopolitical challenges (conflicts, migrations, terrorism, environmental risks) and the economic and financial crises have triggered debates on the common values that hold European countries and citizens together, justify public action and ensure the sustainability of European governance.

This book discusses the genesis of and increasing references to "European values", their appropriation by diverse groups of actors and their impact on public action. It argues that European values are a broad and flexible symbolic repertoire, instrumental to serving diverging ends, and a resource for both negotiation and conflicts. Looking at the broader picture, the book reflects on the role of values in the institutionalization of the EU as a political order and paves the way to an assessment of its singularity in comparison with other polities across time and space.

This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners in EU politics, comparative politics, IR, public policy, sociology and cultural studies.

chapter |20 pages

Analysing European values

An introduction

part I|59 pages

Human dignity and the rise of morality politics

chapter 2|19 pages

Human dignity in EU bioethics politics

A bridge-building incentive or a conflict-driving force?

chapter 3|15 pages

Conflict over values in the European multilevel space

The case of morality issues

part II|35 pages

Rule of law and the enmeshment of political and legal repertoires

chapter 4|16 pages

Values in EU governance

How and why do political and social actors stand for the rule of law?

part III|64 pages

Democracy and its policy avatars

chapter 6|18 pages

Transparency in the European crisis

Between ethicization and economicization 1

chapter 7|20 pages

From democracy by proxy to a stakeholder democracy

The changing faces of a founding value of the EU

chapter 8|17 pages

Overcoming the taboo

Disputes over European values via the European Citizens’ Initiative

chapter |7 pages


Resilience and elusiveness of European values