L'Union par le droit

L'Union par le droit

L'invention d'un programme institutionnel pour l'Europe
Union through Law
Inventing an Institutional Programme for Europe

The European Constitution, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Balanced Budget Amendment… European integration is remarkable in its extraordinary continuity of form: beyond the crises and the 'last chance' summits, political Europe is in constant construction in terms of laws.
Recalling the historical and social foundations of this European ‘legalism’, this book reveals how, over several decades, an institutional programme was constructed - ‘Union through law’ - capable of giving meaning and unity to the ensemble of Europe’s disparate communities and policies. It also reveals the essential role played by various players and elite groups, especially academics, in the mutation of treaties into an ‘institutional system’ with its own logic, which has become the veritable guardian of the European project.

Far from the impediments of a heroic history of Europe with its crises and re-founding treaties, it shows why and how law became the principal device through which Europe was able to impose itself as a new power centre.

Antoine Vauchez is Director of Research at the CNRS and member of the European Centre for Sociology and Political Science (Sorbonne University, Paris 1). His work focuses on knowledge and the transnational elite in European government.