Linking Rights, Process and Legitimacy

  • Justus Schönlau
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


In the year 2000, the European Union had reached a crossroads. New challenges were pressing on the Union, and change was inevitable — but this has always been the case since the integration project was embarked upon, and it continues to be the case even after a draft Constitution has been adopted. The dynamic ability of the process of integration to meet such challenges in the past is in fact its single most astonishing feature. This dynamic nature of the Union poses a great number of difficulties both for those who are trying to shape the process, and for those who are trying to describe and analyse it. The European Union remains a ‘moving target’. Successive rounds of enlargement profoundly affect the nature of the EU as we believe to know it, and the underlying questions which were forced into the limelight by the prospect of a massive enlargement in 2004 remain topical: What is the EU? What should it do for whom? How can it act effectively and efficiently? How can it involve its people in the processes of decision-making? Satisfactory answers to all these questions at every given stage of integration are indispensable if the Union and its activities are to be acceptable to its people. They determine the Union’s legitimacy.


Political Process Political Order European Citizenship European Identity Draft Constitution 
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  1. 6.
    See for example J. Schönlau, D. Castiglione et al., The Making and Unmaking of the European Constitution (working title, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, forthcoming, 2006).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Justus Schönlau 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justus Schönlau
    • 1
  1. 1.European ParliamentBrusselsBelgium

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