In Pandora, Penelope, Polity: How to Change the European Union, leading constitutional specialist and federalist Andrew Duff lays down a detailed blueprint for reform of the EU’s constitution, to give Europe a proper government that can meet the urgent challenges it faces as a continent.
The European Union enters 2015 amid profound uncertainty as to its future direction. The main task of a new round of treaty amendment will be to create the constitutional framework for fiscal and eventual political union, while somehow also dealing with the British demand for renegotiation of its terms of membership. Many of Europe’s leaders fear opening the ‘Pandora’s box’ of further constitutional change − but the box is already open, and the bigger risk lies in failing to take action.
Without ignoring the risks of failure, this book explores what could be done by way of treaty revision and how the delicate task should be approached. The author describes the recent history of amending the EU treaties, and examines some of the better proposals for reform, notably the Commission’s draft ‘Penelope’ proposal and the Spinelli Group’s proposed ‘Fundamental Law’. He argues that European integration has now reached the point when the EU needs a proper government if it is to survive and prosper. While not blind to the conflicting pressures of the times, his underlying vision remains positive. For, as he says: ‘despite Pandora, the Union has usually emerged stronger from making the constitutional effort. It can do so again.’
Full of concrete and reasoned proposals, succinct, clearly written and carefully referenced to what the current treaties say, this book is both a federalist ‘call to arms’ and a valuable textbook for anyone interested in the EU’s current and possible future constitutional arrangements.
Andrew Duff was a British Liberal MEP from 1999-2014, and one of Parliament’s representatives in the Convention and the Lisbon intergovernmental conference. He led the team which wrote the proposed ‘Fundamental Law of the European Union’ in 2013. From 2008-2013 he was President of the Union of European Federalists.