Abstract: This article builds upon two related issues. The fi rst issue consists in the unpacking of constitutional time as a fundamental notion guiding European integration. The second issue concerns the extent to which it is possible to design a constitutional framework that successfully combines rule of law — as an essential component of constitutionalism — and democracy in the transnational sphere. The article suggests adopting a future-oriented approach, which implies testing a polity’s commitment through both a process of collective will-formation and deliberation and practices of selfgovernment. A shift from self-referentiality to heterarchy, which will have a profound impact on the European Union institutional setting, is both exposed and advocated.
Keywords: EU constitutionalism; constituent power; self-government; political morality; democracy; legitimation; liberalism
“[T]he same body may at different times be compared with itself. And from hence springs a great controversy among philosophers about the beginning of individuation, namely, in what sense it may be conceived that a body is at one time the same, at another time not the same it was formerly.” (T Hobbes, Elements of Philosophy, pt.II, ch.11, para.7)
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