'Integration-through-Law.' Contribution to a Socio-history of EU Political Commonsense
Title: 'Integration-through-Law.' Contribution to a Socio-history of EU Political Commonsense
Author: VAUCHEZ, Antoine
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2008/10
This article tracks the genesis of one of the EU's most established meta-narratives, that of Europeanization-through-case-law. Instead of studying this theory of European integration as an explanatory frame, I consider it here as the phenomenon to be explained and accounted for. Thereby, the paper does not try to assess how heuristic and explicative it may be, but rather analyzes what is at stake in its genesis as a dominant theory of Europeanization. I trace its emergence in the conflicting theorizations of the relationship between Law and the European Communities that come along with the European Court of Justice's 'landmark' decisions (Van Gend en Loos and Costa v. ENEL). This approach helps seizing the genesis of a specific and - at the time - rather unlikely political model for Europe in which a judge (the ECJ) is regarded as the very locus of European integration's dynamics as well as the best mediator and moderator of both Member States' "conservatism" and individuals' "potential excesses". It also allows to grasp the emergence of Euro-implicated lawyers as a group endowed with a set of critical functions (integration) and missions (protecting the EC treaties) the theory assigned them.
Subject: Europeanization; European law; European Integration; European Court of Justice
Type of Access: openAccess