Following the recent fascinating exchange in the ‘pages’ of the Verfassungsblog on what to do (or not) with Hungary given the current developments there it seems to be high time to return to the very basic question on the reasons behind the Union in Europe. The question of Europe’s raison d’être is as acute as ever now more than half a century into the project and is actively discussed for a good reason (eg de Búrca 2013). Answering this question is crucial – not only because such an answer could allow for a better legitimization – if not justification – of the integration project already in existence, but also, since it is likely to shed light on how to resolve some of the outstanding problems which the Member States and the Union are facing. Although Hungary immediately comes to mind, the situation there is merely an illustration of the extent of the vulnerability of the Union in its entirety, caused by a far-reaching systemic problem of the European Union’s design and day-to-day functioning that stretches far beyond the enforcement issues. This systemic deficiency was bound to emerge sooner or later, whether in Hungary or elsewhere. Any other country could be in Hungary’s place. Given the current level of interdependence between states in the Union, everybody is harmed by such Hungaries significantly.
In what follows, after asking the question, I make three interrelated arguments to come to an uneasy conclusion. Firstly, I argue that the initial idea behind the Union got hijacked by the internal market, the latter intended as a means, not as an end in itself, exposing a justice void at the basis of the Union. Secondly, I argue that unlike states, the Union is not equipped to defend its founding idea (should it be deciphered) ...Zum vollständigen Artikel