Democratic Constitutionalism in Europe

What is the state of democratic constitutionalism in Europe today? This open conference will discuss the current status of democracy in Europe, the implications of the euro crisis, as well as implications for Norway as an associate EU non-member state.

The registration for this conference is closed. It is possible to attend the sessions before and after lunch without registration.

The present conference is the major and concluding event of the research project The Norwegian Constitution in a Changing European Context (NORCONE). It has considered the nature of democratic constitutionalism in today’s Europe and evaluated how European and global developments shape constitutional democracy in Norway.

The conference is organised as part of the 2014 bicentenary of Norway's Constitution, which was signed on 17 May 1814. The date, 4 November 2014, marks the bicentenary of Norway’s accession to a union with Sweden and the first constitutional revision. This highlights how important the relationships with the external world are in the shaping of all states as democratic states.

The first part of the conference consists of keynotes aiming at providing us with ‘the big picture’ of democratic constitutionalism in Europe today. What is the nature of the European Union in constitutional terms? What is the present status of democracy in Europe? What has the euro crisis done to constitutional democracy at both the national and the supranational level?

The second part is a panel debate discussing what options the EU has, what options states in Europe have and the implications of membership and non-membership. This provides a further opportunity to reflect on the implications of the crisis and consider these in light of membership–non-membership status. There will also be specific focus on the situation for Norway, as an associate non-member state. What is the condition for a closely associated non-member such as Norway? Being a rule-taker appears akin to voluntary submission under hegemony. Is that an apt description of Norway (and the other EEA states)? Is that also the case for Switzerland?

More about the topics to be discussed at the conference

Part I: What form of democracy is possible in today’s Europe?


08.30    Registration and coffee




Ole Petter Ottersen, Rector, University of Oslo

Olemic Thommessen, President of the Norwegian Parliament



Challenges to European constitutionalism – an overview

John Erik Fossum, ARENA, University of Oslo

Agustín José Menéndez, ARENA, University of Oslo and University of León


10.15    Coffee



Integration through law, economic constitutionalism and the new modes of economic governance: The OMT controversy in context

Christian Joerges, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin

Comment by Inger Johanne Sand, University of Oslo



Demoicratic constitutionalism: Elites versus peoples?

Kalypso Nicolaïdis, University of Oxford

Comment by Christopher Lord, ARENA, University of Oslo


12.30     Lunch


Part II: Is the EU the only game in town?



Norway and the EU – in a year of anniversaries

Ingvild Næss Stub, State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Constitutional celebration with an aftertaste

Erik O. Eriksen, ARENA, University of Oslo

Switzerland: A model to emulate?

Joachim Blatter, University of Lucerne



Panel debate

Joachim Blatter, University of Lucerne
Bruno De Witte, European University Institute
Erik O. Eriksen, ARENA, University of Oslo
Carol Harlow, London School of Economics and Political Science
Imelda Maher, University College Dublin
Harm Schepel, University of Kent
Daniel Thym, University of Konstanz

Chair: Cathrine Holst, ARENA, University of Oslo


The event is open for everyone.

The registration is closed, but it is possible to attend the sessions before and after lunch without registration.

Published Oct. 13, 2014 2:21 PM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2022 2:41 PM