Transformative Constitutionalism in Times of Crises: Can Multilevel Constitutionalism Take Over?

Central and Eastern Europe experienced a rather swift constitutional transformation thirty years ago. This transformation was characteristically a top to bottom exercise, with constitutional courts playing a decisive role. As political and constitutional systems failed to deliver the results the constituents had hoped for, important parts of the acquis of constitutional transformation were challenged. In the context of the European Union, the appropriate mechanisms of multilevel constitutionalism were sought to remedy the situation. This, however, further exposes the quest for the maintenance of constitutional values to accusations about its elitist nature. I shall argue that multilevel constitutionalism cannot and shall not compensate fully for the backsliding of constitutionalism. Instead, it shall focus on maintaining a functioning democracy in order to enable domestic self-healing processes.