Towards a Cosmopolitan EU?

This paper is on whether the parameters of power politics in Europe are changing and whether the EU can be described as a cosmopolitan polity in the making. In other words: Is it the case that the popular sovereignty principe must yield to fundamental human rights?

ARENA Working Paper 09/2005 (pdf)

Erik Oddvar Eriksen

There is a tension between democracy, which is limited to the nation-state, and human rights, which are universal and point to the ideal republic. Human rights apply to all members of humankind and transcend the rights of the citizens. The constitutionalisation of the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights of the European Union is an important step in the process of institutionalising a framework of a cosmopolitan order where violations of human rights can be persecuted as criminal offences according to legal procedures. The principle of popular sovereignty is in the process of being transformed into a law for the citizens of the world. But the positivization of human rights protection represents juridification and is in need of democratization. The question is whether the reform processes of the Union itself enhances the possibilities for the citizens to give themselves their rights. We may also question whether EU’s external foreign and security policy is consistent with cosmopolitan tenets.

Tags: Constitution for Europe, democracy, fundamental/human rights, EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM