Should anti-democratic populism continue to cast a shadow across the continent, Europe may well succumb to a creeping process of disintegration, warns Jan-Werner Müller. Now is the time for renewed political engagement, if Europe’s democracies are not to start slowly corroding from within.
Jan-Werner Müller deals with critical issues raised by his proposals for a Copenhagen Commission: an independent institution specifically tasked with alerting Europe to threats to democracy, the liberal rule of law and individual rights such as those currently seen in Hungary.
Germany’s politicians lack deep European convictions yet are susceptible to calls for a more strident role in Europe; and while the mainstream is unlikely to give up what it sees as the recipe for German success, “constitutional patriotism” could allow for greater Europeanization. Jan-Werner Müller talks to Esprit about German contradictions.
Rising to the challenge of constitutional capture
Despite being well aware of the stakes involved in member states such as Hungary, writes Jan-Werner Müller, the European Commission still lacks fully convincing instruments to deal with constitutional capture: a government’s systematic weakening of checks and balances.
The failure of European intellectuals?
Intellectuals have been accused of failing to restore a European confidence undermined by crisis. Yet calls for legitimating European narratives – combined with nostalgia for a golden age of Europeanism – remain faithful to the logic of nineteenth-century nation building, argues Jan-Werner Müller. What, then, should Europe’s intellectuals be doing?