Metzeltin; Wallmann: European Constitution

Michael Metzeltin & Thomas Wallmann:
Designing a European Constitution. A text linguistic approach to the EU constitutional problem

2017, ISBN 978-3-7069-0911-2, 170 Seiten, brosch.
€ [A] 14,90 / € [D] 14,50


The project of European integration requires basic texts in order to function. However, states and supranational communities alike need not only a legal, but also an ideological basis which is able to bring forth understanding, coherence and solidarity among the citizens. Not without reason there is a long standing tradition of constitutional texts which represent the verbalisation of both legal and identitary foundations of a community in Europe. Thematically, they deal with the tension between civil rights and state action of the organs in particular. Pragmatically, they mostly operate in the constitution of values and symbols that represent the community ideologically. Not only the state bodies and instances, i.e. the immediate legal practitioners, are addressees of a constitutional text, but in particular the citizens of the state who should identify with the community. In order to accomplish this textual challenge, namely the creation of a legally flawless and general-discursive and effective text, a collaboration of jurists and text linguists seems essential. Objective of this book, therefore, is the elucidation of the European constitutional issues from the perspective of text linguistics. Specifically, the authors have performed analytical work on the existing Union documents by investigating them with regard to their semantic, text structural and pragmatic features. The essential result constitutes the establishment of an independent European Constitution proposal. The authors accomplished this by de- and reconstructing the existing European primary law texts (TEU, TFEU, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; consolidated versions 2010) with regard to text pragmatics focused on the legally untrained citizens and have thus created something new out of already existing documents. The new text clearly sees itself as a contribution to a future constituent process in the EU. It may form the basis for a future successful collaboration between jurists and text linguistics.