Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

7 - Europe and Constituent Powers

from Part II - The Crisis as a Crisis of the EU’s Political and Democratic Legitimacy


The European project has perhaps never been more thoroughly disputed across the whole range of the political spectrum, than it is today. From the far left to the far right, the ongoing crisis is precipitating robust reactions, sometimes caught up in extremist and xenophobic rhetoric and at other times motivated by progressive egalitarian demands. This analysis explores the constitutional relevance of the above developments with a special focus on the constitutional facets of the main outcome of the crisis, austerity, and the response given by European societies.

Constitutional discourse on the European crisis often tends to emphasise the constitutional mutations and institutional shifts of power equilibrium within both the Union and its individual Member States. Within Member States, the strengthening of the executive power has almost become a leitmotif as the safeguarding of austerity under the pretence of necessity and at the expense of democracy informs parliamentary routine.