The EU as a Union of Values: Reactive and Proactive Strategies
In the past decade, the EU has been confronted with growing threats to the founding values of the integration project. The institutions reacted to those challenges by using existing mechanisms and creating new procedures that seek to bolster the available toolkit. The results, however, have been mostly disappointing. More recently, the Commission is seeking to complement those reactive strategies with proactive ones, in particular in the context of the European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP). It has proposed several initiatives with the ambition to strengthen the ‘resilience’ of European and national democracies. The project explores both reactive and proactive strategies against the background of the transformation of the EU from an economic organization in a (true) ‘Union of Values’. First, the project concentrates on the reactive strategies, and focuses on the conclusion of a monograph that assesses the EU efforts in the last decade, proposes new strategies, and reflects on how the current crises may paradoxically be contributing to the Union’s constitutionalisation process. In the second part, the project maps the developments around the EDAP and reflects on the main questions surrounding it, including those on the competence and legitimacy of the EU to become a true ‘democratic legislator’.