Framing EU Constitutionalism: a theory of constitutional change for the EU

This paper considers: will/should a genuinely democratic process of polity-building emerge and is it possible to design a constitutional framework that successfully combines rule of law and democracy in the transnational sphere? It postulates that, in these turbulent times, the EU is going through one or more ‘constitutional moments’, with relevant implications for the meaning of the notion of ‘constitutional change’ for the EU – not merely in formal-structural terms, but as regards the viability of a theory of democratic legitimacy underlying the European project. This paper thus puts forward two interlaced arguments for a reflection on EU constitutionalism. First, a discussion on the ‘future’ of the EU benefits from harnessing the notion of ‘constitutional time’. Second, any discussion of this type cannot disregard the importance of the necessary mutual interpenetration of rule of law and democracy within the process of European integration.