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The Europe of Liberalism / Europe's Constitutional Opportunity
Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese
Europe is now presented with a once-in-history opportunity of achieving that greatness that has so long remained unrealised. A constitution is a "sine qua non" of the whole enterprise, and the only constitutional structure that is consistent with the historically-constrained setting of the 1990s is that of a federal union. The Europe of the 1990s can learn lessons from the doomed experience of the United States of America. But, in order to accomplish this grand design, individual participants must recapture something of the mind-set of the 18th century, while abandoning Hegelian mythology. An appropriate constitutional design for a federal union can allow the predicted working of interest-driven utilisation of political agency to proceed so long as the limits to damages are constrained by effective competition among the separate polities of the inclusive federation. The whole argument is illustrated by reference to a European monetary constitution. The final section concludes the paper with a defence of the prediction that Europe will, in the 1990s, establish an effective federal union.