Changing European Constitutions – Reconfiguring European Constitutionalism

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A Workshop organized jointly by Constitutionalism and Politics Working Group and Finnish Academy research project Constitutionalism Reconfigured. The traditional view to constitutional change addresses its target usually from the vantage point of specific political or legal moments of nation states. In this view, change occurs predominantly through revolutions, constitutional moments, revisions, reforms, amendments or landmark cases. However, as recent constitutional experiences and research have made evident, this traditional frame does not seem to correspond with the legal and political reality any more. Instead of being brought up by internal developments of nation state, European constitutions change mostly in a process of multi-dimensional interaction between national and supra-national constitutions and constitutionalisms. In fact, it may be presumed that this form of change brought up by Europeanization is one of the main trajectories through which national constitutions and even forms of constitutionalism change – both explicitly and formally as well as implicitly and informally.Europeanization also seems to have two major kinds of effects to constitutional change. It does not only provide for key source of change but also its key boundary. The rule of law mechanism of the European Commission, which has been initiated against Poland, provides us with a concrete example of this trajectory that resists national turns toward illiberal or authoritarian forms of government. The core of European constitutionalism – so it seems – rejects constitutional attacks against rule of law, democratic principles and individual rights.Changing European Constitutions – Reconfiguring European Constitutionalism workshop will invite European constitutional scholars to discuss central driving forces behind the interdependences of constitutional change in present day Europe. We are not net necessarily looking after ready-made and firmly established convictions about the key causal factors of these changes. Instead we would wish to raise questions about the ways in which these changes and their limits should be approached. How should we study constitutional change in Europe? Is there still room for national constitutional studies focusing on national constitutional reforms, amendments and cases. Or should we instead focus solely on comparative constitutional law or on European constitutional law? And what about the limits of constitutional change? How should they be addressed. What do they tell us about the core of European constitutionalism?

  • Monday 21 November 2016 09.00 – 18.00
  • Sala del Consiglio (Villa Salviati)