CLEER WP 2011/5 - Larik

Shaping the international order as a Union objective and the dynamic internationalisation of constitutional law

Joris Larik

Shaping the international order according to the Union’s values is not just a political ambition, but is also enshrined in EU primary law in the form of the external objectives of the Union. These have been streamlined and expanded significantly with the Lisbon reform (above all Arts. 3(5) and 21 TEU). However, scholarship has not given these objectives an altogether warm welcome, often dismissing them as strange, superfluous or mere wishful thinking. The aim of this paper is to put these external objectives into the wider context of the ‘dynamic internationalisation’ of constitutional law around the world and approach them as part of a constitutional norm category. It is argued that in contemporary constitutional law, externally-oriented objectives are not unusual, but indeed increasingly commonplace. Moreover, at least in German and French legal scholarship, constitutional objectives have received considerable attention and are acknowledged as legally binding, in principle justiciable norms of constitutional rank, setting objectives apart from mere ‘soft law’. This also applies to externally-oriented objectives, even though a wider margin of discretion pertains to the executive branch as the main actor in the area of foreign affairs. Applying these findings to the EU, it can be concluded that the Union’s external objectives are indeed legal norms in the vanguard of a global trend in constitutional law.


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CLEER WP 2011/5 - Larik