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Enhancing Political Representation Through the European Economic Constitution? Regressive Politics of Democratic Inclusion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2019


Interrelation between economic and political dimensions of constitutionalism – European market integration and erosion of democratic representation within Member States of the EU – Regulatory externalities between national democracies – European market citizenship and its ramifications for democratically legitimate exercise of the power to tax – Underinclusiveness of domestic democratic process – Political representation beyond the state – European economic constitution as a source of political empowerment and the EU economic freedoms as political rights – The European Court of Justice as a protector of representation – Reinforcing political participation through regulatory competition – European market freedoms enhance representation but at the expense of political equality – Economic freedoms as insufficient means of political empowerment – Improving democratic representation and equality beyond the state requires properly political citizenship instead of mere market rights

© 2019 The Authors 

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PhD Researcher, Faculty of Law, University of Turku; email: For their useful comments on the earlier versions of this article, the author would like to thank Jan Komárek, Jo Shaw, two anonymous reviewers, all the participants in the 2018 EuConst Colloquium (Amsterdam) and all the participants in the EU Citizenship, Democracy and Fundamental Rights seminar (Turku). The usual disclaimers apply.


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26 For a comprehensive approach, see J. Habermas, ‘The Postnational Constellation and the Future of Democracy’, in J. Habermas, Postnational Constellation. Political Essays (Polity 2011) p. 58.

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38 The inevitability of externalities resembles Stephen D. Krasner’s account of interdependence as a logically structural constituent in an international community without supranational ordering: see S.D. Krasner, ‘Economic Interdependence and Independent Statehood’, in R.H. Jackson and A. James (eds.), States in a Changing World. A Contemporary Analysis (Clarendon Press 1995) p. 301 at p. 301–302.

39 M. Maduro, ‘Reforming the Market or the State? Article 30 and the European Constitution: Economic Freedom and Political Rights’, 3 European Law Journal (1997) p. 55 at p. 77 and M. Maduro, We the Court. The European Court of Justice and The European Economic Constitution. A Critical Reading of Article 30 of the EC Treaty (Hart 1998) p. 172.

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47 F. de Witte, ‘Interdependence and Contestation in European Integration’, 3 European Papers (2018) p. 475 at p. 482–485.

48 In addition to this discussion, the 19th century witnessed a substantive discourse on the material limits of taxation, beyond which legitimate taxation may not step, especially in terms of its distributive consequences (for instance, see J.S. Mill: Principles of Political Economy with Some of their Applications to Social Philosophy (August M. Kelley 1961) p. 802–822).

49 K. Wicksell, ‘A New Principle of Just Taxation’, in R.A. Musgrave and A.T. Peacock (eds.), Classics in the Theory of Public Finance (Macmillan 1958) p. 72, at p. 87 and further at p. 89–90, p. 95, p. 117–118.

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51 For instance, see Wicksell, supra n. 49, p. 87–97.

52 C. Webber and A. Wildavsky, A History of Taxation and Expenditure in the Western World (Simon and Schuster 1986) p. 555.

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56 Brennan and Buchanan, supra n. 53, p. 153–167.

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66 R.S. Avi-Yonah, ‘Globalization, Tax Competition, and the Fiscal Crisis of the Welfare State’, 113 Harvard Law Review (2000) p. 1573 at p. 1611–1612 and p. 1616–1625; Scharpf, supra n. 63, p. 45–47; Hirschman (1974), supra n. 60, p. 76. In the EU context, the intra-EU mobility of EU citizens of working age remains around 4%: see E. Fries-Tersch et al., 2017 Annual Report on Intra-EU Labour Mobility. Final Report January 2018 (European Union 2018) p. 26.

67 A. Somek, ‘The Argument from Transnational Effects I: Representing Outsiders through Freedom of Movement’, 16 European Law Journal (2010) p. 315 at p. 342.

68 For a detailed account, see Maduro (1997), supra n. 39, p. 78–79. For discussion, see Somek, supra n. 67, p. 329–335.

69 See A. Somek, ‘The European Model of Transnational Democracy: A Tribute to Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde’, 19 German Law Journal (2018) p. 435 at p. 456.

70 See W. Streeck, Buying Time. The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism (Verso 2014) at p. 79–81.

71 W. Streeck, ‘From Market Making to State Building? Reflections on the Political Economy of European Social Policy’, in S. Leibfried and P. Pierson (eds.), European Social Policy. Between Fragmentation and Integration (The Brookings Institution 1995) p. 389 at p. 416.

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73 This was also later noted by Maduro: see Maduro (2003), supra n. 45, p. 93–94 and p. 101; see also M. Maduro, A New Governance for the European Union and the Euro: Democracy and Justice (RSCAS Policy Paper 2012/11, European University Institute) p. 13–16.

74 See S. Steinmo, Taxation and Democracy. Swedish, British, and American Approaches to Financing the Modern State (Yale University Press 1993) p. 29 and p. 156–160.

75 Offe and Preuss, supra n. 10, p. 180; Follesdal and Hix, supra n. 9, at p. 542 and p. 551.

76 See Jaakkola, supra n. 29.

77 For further discussion, see A. Somek, ‘The Darling Dogma of Bourgeois Europeanists’, 20 European Law Journal (2014) p. 688 at p. 701–702 and p. 709–710.

78 For instance, see Avi-Yonah, supra n. 66.

79 For empirical assessment, see P. Genschel and P. Schwarz, ‘Tax competition: a literature review’, 9 Socio-Economic Review (2011) p. 339; P. Genschel and P. Schwarz, ‘Tax Competition and Fiscal Democracy’, in Schäfer and Streeck, supra n. 18, p. 59.

80 R.S. Avi-Yonah, ‘The Three Goals of Taxation’, 60 Tax Law Review (2006) p. 1 at p. 10–22.

81 M. Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie (Mohr Siebeck 1972) p. 209–211.

82 See text between n. 8 and n. 29 supra.

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