Er is de laatste jaren niet alleen in de klas en tijdens colleges over de EU gediscussieerd, maar er heeft op 28 juni 2011 ook een Internationaal Congres over de Aard van de Europese Unie in het Vredespaleis plaatsgevonden. Het gerenommeerde T.M.C. Asser Instituut uit Den Haag vatte de resultaten van de conferentie in het onderstaande persbericht samen.


For decades, the academic debate about the nature of the European Union has been dominated by the dilemma whether the EU was to become a federal state or should establish itself as a union of states. Three years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty this deadlock has finally been broken.

In a guest blog on the website of the Peace Palace Library, Dutch philosopher of law Jaap Hoeksma demonstrates that the EU constitutes a new phenomenon of statehood and international law. The novelty brought about by the EU is that the Union applies essential principles of democracy and the rule of law to an international organisation. The aim of the EU is therefore not to create a European State, but to transform a union of states into a representative democracy. The EU may thus be described as a union of democratic states based on the rule of law, which also constitutes a law-based democracy of its own.

This revolutionary breakthrough in the classic pattern of international organisation has profound consequences for the current debate about the future of the EU and the euro. It implies that the EU has developed a distinct model of governance, based on the joint exercise of sovereignty. In this post-Westphalian model of international law it is perfectly possible for States to transfer parts of the exercise of their sovereignty to a higher authority without losing statehood. A major implication for the Economic and Monetary Union is that the maintenance of the euro as common currency will not require the transformation of the Union into a federation or federal state. Contrary to the views of the financial markets, the euro is not a currency without a state, but rather a currency beyond the state. Consequently, the EU and the member states of the euro area are the joint sovereign behind the euro. Short term measures to strengthen the euro should include further transfer of exercise of sovereignty in the economic, the financial and the monetary domain. In order to save the euro, however, there is no need for the Union to be turned into a state or a federation.

For the blog please surf to: www.peacepalacelibrary.nl/2012/09/the-novelty-of-the-eu/