EU construction — страница 5

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and dispersing power allowing individuals to fight for their rights themselves (Bellamy 1995).   The constitution is anti-majoritarian. One function of constitutional protections through rights is precisely to secure certain interests of every citizen- even those of minorities- against day-to-day majoritarian politics. Some issues are placed off the political agenda. From the point of view of contractualism, this is justifiable in so far as some such arrangement is needed to secure the vital interests of each citizen against standard threats.   Constitutional constraints on political debate , for instance by a constitutional court, instead serve to give notice to the public that the political powers now take as extraordinary course, that or the unintended systemic

effects of political decisions now cross certain important boundaries.   Federalism and state powers   A central political and philosophical issue regarding the future of Europe is the legitimate role of the member states. The reason why small states enjoy disproportionate influence is of course historical. Unlike the USA, the EU developed and develops from pre- existing independent, legally equal, de jure sovereign nation states.   The prior formal sovereignty of each state translated into formal representation which gives citizens of small states disproportionate influence, so that, for example, there are many more members of the EP per thousand citizens for the small states than for the larger ones and small states are overrepresented for their population size

in the allocation of votes in the Council of Ministers.   A states system would seem difficult to justify in so far as it entails that individuals in different states enjoy different life-chances. So while states may be acceptable as a second-best solution in times of transition, contractualism would seem to insist that, eventually, all social institutions should have a regional and eventual global reach. The current status of states in the EU would appear to be inappropriate, since the interests of their citizens- are unduly favoured.   Member states would continue to enjoy a variety of powers. From the Amsterdam Treaty it would seem that the trend is towards a bicameral system of governance where the Council continues to be one important source of control. Even though

the distribution of votes in the Council varies with population sizes among European states. And in the Commission every state has one Commissioner, with the largest five states having two each until future expansion of the EU. In order to reduce the democratic deficit, by ways of equalising citizens` formal influence, the power of states and national parliaments should be reduced by reducing the powers of the Council and possibly of the Commission. Moreover, their votes should reflect population size more exactly.   A justification of states with significant powers might be provided within contractualist theory if coalitions of citizens are allowed in the choice situation, parallel to Locke’s contractualist argument allowing a property owners´ state. This

strategy may yield communitarian conclusions, but is fraught with great theoretical difficulties. To be sure, there are reasons to move slowly in reducing the powers of existing states, so as to not upset expectations. As part of political theory of transition from unjust situations, we could plausibly regard states within the EU as a permissible deviation from institutions which would be acceptable to all.   The primary normative role of states may be to serve as a locus of checks and balances within a federation, confederation or other order with federal features. The most just stable system of regional institutions may involve a distribution of checks and balances where states play an important role as a check on centralist tendencies. Thus one might argue that member

states should retain roles regarding constitutional change to prevent hasty or unwarranted centralisation. This defence is based on the interest of individuals in controlling institutional and cultural change, allowing their expectations to be met.    Conclusion: the ends of Europe   The objectives of the EU are essential for the development of a normative political theory of Europe. The principle of subsidiarity brings his out:   The Community shall take action, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale of effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the Community.   It must be