|Book Title||The Constitution for Europe and an Enlarging European Union: Unity in Diversity?|
|Book Author||Ott, Andrea and Inglis, Kristyn|
|Bibliographic Information||Europa Law Publishing, 2005, Pages : 400, $120.00, ISBN 9076871388|
The Constitution for Europe and an Enlarging Union: Unity in Diversity? Edited by Kirstyn Inglis and Andrea Ott. Groningen: Europa Law Publishing, 2005. Pp xvi, 305.
Reviewed by Karen E. Smith, London School of Economics
Books on the constitution risk having an extremely short shelf-life these days, but this one should just avoid that fate because the constitution is not as fundamental a part of the book as the title might imply. This collection of essays by young researchers from across Europe discusses more broadly the future of an enlarging Europe and the impact of enlargement on the EU’s institutions and development.
The constitution looms large in only four of the twelve chapters, on European constitutionalism (Michiel Brand), democratic legitimacy (Fabian Amtenbrink), institutional reform (Peter Van Elsuwege and An Vermeersch), and the role of national parliaments (Philipp Kiiver). But all four chapters generally avoid over-emphasising the constitution itself; instead they place the constitution in a longer historical perspective. The next five chapters deal with, in various ways, the apparent growing diversity within the Union – some of which is the result of the 2004 enlargement, some of which predates that enlargement. The future of ‘differentiated integration’ in general is tackled by Andrea Ott, in the economic and monetary union by Beata Dziechciarz, in citizenship laws (with respect to Cyprus) by Nikolaos Skoutaris, in the Common Agricultural Policy by Sandra Marco Colino, and in counter-terrorism policy by Przemysław Zysk. The final three chapters address issues related to enlargement: Kirstyn Inglis examines membership conditionality in relation to the current queue of membership candidates, Peter Van Elsuwege the indications that enlargement is having an impact on minority protection within the EU, and Ahmet Sözen the deep impact of membership conditionality on the democratisation process in Turkey.
Many of the chapters are quite interesting and raise important issues surrounding the future of integration in an enlarging EU. But the book is, however, quite disparate – rather more diversity than unity. It would have been greatly strengthened had the editors included an introductory chapter which explicitly drew out the broad themes and lessons in all the contributions and attempted to weave together a coherent, though perhaps tentative, explanation of the impact of enlargement on the EU and whether ‘unity in diversity’ is more than just the EU’s PR slogan.