2nd Edition

The Tangled Complexity of the EU Constitutional Process The Frustrating Knot of Europe

By Giuseppe Martinico Copyright 2023
    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    Offering a fresh view on the EU constitutionalisation process, the new edition of The Tangled Complexity of the EU Constitutional Process presents three main points: the idea of constitutional complexity, the tension between constitutional evolutionism and constitutional constructivism in the process of European integration, and the functional nature of conflicts in the evolution of the EU. Because of its prodigiousness, European law produces consternation among constitutionalists accustomed to traditional patterns of power.

    This book argues that while constitutional conflicts have frequently been depicted as elements of disturbance along the path towards legal coherence, they are physiological and might even be functional to the development of the European legal order, which should not be understood in a deterministic manner.

    The new edition will be of particular interest to academics and students in the disciplines of law, international relations, and political science.

    Preface to the second edition: Why a new edition?

    Preface and acknowledgements to the first edition

    1 Only a drop in the ocean? An attempt to classify the debate about the notion and the nature of the European Constitution

    1.1 Introductory remarks

    1.2 When concepts matter: what do we mean by ‘constitutionalisation’, ‘constitution’ and ‘constitutionalism’ at EU level?

    1.3 Dealing with the literature: what about the ‘efficient secret’ of the European Constitution? Some attempts at classification

    1.4 The persistent terminological ambiguity with reference to European constitutional law

    1.5 Concluding on fundamental rights in EU law

    1.6 Final remarks

    2 Dealing with constitutional theories of European integration

    2.1 Plan of the chapter

    2.2 Multilevel constitutionalism

    2.3 Constitutional pluralism

    2.4 Complexity as ‘the efficient secret’ of the European Constitution

    2.5 From complexity to constitutional synallagma: some examples

    2.6 The idea of a complex ‘order’

    3 Constructivism, evolutionism and (mega) constitutional politics in the EU from 1992 to 2010

    3.1 Plan of the chapter

    3.2 Constitutional constructivism versus constitutional evolutionism

    3.3 The discontents of European constitutionalism and their relations with constitutional constructivism

    3.4 The (attempted) hijack of the acquis communautaire

    3.5 The Maastricht Treaty as a turning point in the relationship between the ECJ and national governments

    3.6 Pupino: a frustrated attempt to limit the interpreter?

    3.7 The season of the conventions and its products

    3.8 Article 4.2 TEU as the apex of a constitutional crescendo

    3.9 The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU

    3.10 Final remarks

    4 The multiple crises of the European Union (2011–2021)

    4.1 An existential crisis

    4.2 The impact over the EU constitutional system and the reaction to the pandemic

    4.3 Why the European Union is not (only) an ordoliberal entity

    5 Complexity in action: from the structure to the actors

    5.1 Plan of the chapter

    5.2 Multiple loyalties and complexity in action: how hard it is being a judge in a complex legal order

    5.3 The idea of constitutional conflicts as a direct consequence of the constitutional complexity of the EU

    5.4 Back to case law: a possible typology of constitutional conflicts

    5.5 Conflicts by convergence as one of the unexpected consequences of the constitutionalisation of the EU

    5.6 The importance of a consistent interpretation as a technique for recognising fully fledged ‘conflicts’

    6 On the future of constitutional conflicts

    6.1 On European monstrosity

    6.2 Pushing the incoming tide back? Some notes on Brexit

    6.3 Past and future of constitutional conflicts



    Giuseppe Martinico is Full Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa.

    "I fully recommend this book which I believe is a must-read in the field of EU constitutional law.  The volume is based on sound research and methodology and the conclusions developed by Martinico are very innovative. Martinico does not only focus on past cases and trans-legal constitutional conflicts since he also foresees future situations of interpretive disagreement" .-Luis I. Gordillo University of Deusto, Bilbao

    "This is an ambitious and rich book which offers an original analytical framework to understand the European integration process. This is undoubtedly a work full of original proposals and a must-read for scholars who approach the European Union as a peculiar juridical entity." Prof Gianpaolo Maria Ruotolo, University of Foggia

    "Martinico’s book emerges as an essential and landmark work on the European constitutional journey." Nicola Abate, Universitat Pompeu Fabra