In Search for the European solidarity: The rule of law within the European Union in the framework of constitutional pluralism
Vänttinen, Sara (2016-03-18)
Aineistoon ei liity tiedostoja.
The dissertation examines the rule of law within the European Union in the theoretical framework of constitutional pluralism. The leading lines of constitutional pluralism are examined with relation to the traditional and prevailing, monistic and hierarchical conceptions on how to perceive legal orders in Europe. The theoretical part offers also historical perspective by highlighting some of the turning points for the Union constitutional legal order in the framework of European integration. The concept of rule of law is examined in legal terms and its meaning to the Union constitutional constellation as a constitutional principle and a common value is observed. The realization of the rule of law at supranational and national level is explored with a view to discover that recent developments in some of the Member States give rise to concern about the viability of the rule of law within the European Union. It is recognized that the inobservance of the rule of law at national level causes a threat to the supranational constitutional legal order. The relationship between the supranational and national legal orders is significant in this respect and therefore particularly the interaction between the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter the ECJ) and the Member States’ (constitutional/supreme) courts takes focus. It is observed that functioning dialogue between the supranational and national courts based on mutual respect and judicial deference is an important prerequisite for the realization of the rule of law within Europe. In order to afford a concrete example, a recent case C-62/14 Gauweiler v Deutscher Bundestag is introduced and analysed in relation to the notorious relationship between the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany and the ECJ. The implications of the ECJ’s decision in Gauweiler v Deutscher Bundestag is assessed with reference to some of the pressing issues of constitutionalism within Europe and some institutional aspects are also brought forward. Lastly, the feasibility of constitutional pluralism as a theoretical setting is measured against the legal reality of today’s Europe and its many constitutions. The hierarchical idea of one ultimate source of power, stemming from the traditional approaches to legal systems, is then assessed with relation to the requirement of the realization of the rule of law within the European Union from the supranational and national point of view.