Shared sovereignty

The core values project, part of the broader RENFORCE European core values research theme, is aimed at analyzing the way core values shape the system of shared sovereignty between the European Union and its Member States through mechanisms of regulation and enforcement.

Internationalization and globalization confront nation states and their citizens with challenges which they can no longer address on their own. This affects national sovereignty. As a reaction, the concept of sovereignty has become highly volatile in the current political and societal discourse. It is used to posit the European and national legal orders as two total  distinct orders and to shield the national legal order as much as possible from ‘external’ EU intervention.  Thus, the concept is a normatively charged one. The question is how this interpretation of sovereignty relates to reality, in particular the legal reality of legislation and regulatory systems in Europe.

The project adopts a non- dogmatic perspective on sovereignty which is aimed at analyzing differentiation and parallels in the relationships between the European Union and Member States.

Research Method

The project assumes that no a priori and model-based expression of shared sovereignty is possible, but that the factors that cause such differences should be identified and analyzed. Actual arrangements of shared sovereignty develop not only as a result of path dependencies or accidental circumstances, but are also the result of the application of core values. Obvious examples in the European context are the principles of attribution, subsidiarity and proportionality but also other core values are key here (e.g. the protection of fundamental rights, economic stability etc.). How do these core values relate to the central elements of sovereignty: territory, people and authority? This leads us to the central research question: How do core values emerge and function to settle conflicts between European territoriality and national territory, European and national citizenship, and between national institutional autonomy and European intervention? We will also research how these core values relate to another and in which regulation and enforcement regimes they result; and conversely, how do these systems influence the content of core values.

Research Goals

The project is designed to develop insights that cannot be realized by individual researchers alone. Thus, the focus is on cooperation between researchers in different fields of expertise and disciplinary backgrounds. By using this approach the project aims to provide an innovating and multidimensional contribution to not only the legal, but also the political and societal debate on sovereignty in a shared legal order. Contributions to the project are made by RENFORCE researchers Sybe de Vries, Albertine Veldman, Brenda Oude Breuil, Tony Marguery, Frans Pennings, Elisabetta Manunza, Ton Duijkersloot, Bas van Bockel, Ton van den Brink en Jan Willem van Rossem.

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