Constitutional Discourse is an initiative of young researchers brought to life by the politicized atmosphere of the European constitutional dimension. European Integration has always been a playing field of political conflict, where the necessary consensus moved the integration process forward from time to time (e.g. the Luxembourg Compromise itself). A special place where dissenting parties and the positions they form have clashed in the past and still clash to this day, albeit these parties are not enemies merely opponents, having everyone leave negotiations with a little more they came with.
In recent years, however, we have witnessed a radicalization of positions. Increasingly, those who take a stand are losing the ability to accept that the standpoints of those who voice opposing views are valid and represent values similar to theirs, and that we could only build a stable, united Europe if we don’t engage in ‘mutually assured destruction’. When Constitutional Discourse was created, our fundamental idea was that we should continue to consider the nation and national sovereignty as the cornerstone of the European integration process. These are essential attributes on which a united Europe can and must be built, because Europe must exist on a solid foundation, as a house which is built on rock(s).
Along with all of this, we wanted to create a platform for constructive debate, of European, constitutional discourse, while accepting the verity of the fact that there are no mutually exclusive truths.
The Constitutional Discourse blog has been created and is edited by the Editorial Board in the above spirit. It is a free platform through which anyone can express their professional views on European constitutional issues in accordance with the editorial principles set out in our Submission Guidelines.
In recent years, we have witnessed a tumultuous period marked by economic, natural, and social crises. These challenges have been compounded by a growing sense of social isolation, which may be a sign of an even deeper crisis of values. These values – Western, Eastern, liberal, illiberal, conservative, and more – are increasingly at odds, with each side becoming more entrenched in their positions. This lack of common ground is particularly concerning as we face issues such as global migration and climate change that require diverse perspectives to find solutions. This blog, Constitutional Discourse, aims to facilitate constructive dialogue and consider a variety of viewpoints as we grapple with these global challenges and the future of Europe. Hence the choice of our motto: “Discourse? Of course!”
We focus on issues that can be addressed through law, particularly constitutional law and discourse, and pay particular attention to the European integration process and the future of Europe as a whole. While the conflict of values within the European Union is well-documented, we believe that the root of this conflict lies in a lack of shared historical experiences rather than a lack of confidence in a common future. By fostering open and respectful dialogue, we hope to build a better future for all, in other words: uniting diversity for a better tomorrow.
It is with pleasure and the hope to contribute to the development of constitutionalism, among the younger generations of Europe and the world, that I would like to address the need for constitutional discourse and why I accepted to preside the Advisory Board of the initiative called Constitutional Discourse. Being an academic, I have always thought that it is our duty to stand by the generations of our students and support them in the realization of their initiatives in science and innovation.
I want to believe that this initiative could bring together the constitutional thoughts of all Europeans and beyond, in a fruitful dialogue and mutual understanding. The constitutional history and State development in Europe has neither been linear nor homogeneous. As a result, each nation, from the Atlantic to the Urals and from the British isles to Gibraltar and the Greek land, has had different experiences and developments, political adventures and advancements, so that each one of them may believe in its uniqueness and feel proud of its understanding of the Man and the World. The connecting element in their constitutional democratic status is profoundly marked by the Greek-Roman civilization, the developments of the British constitutionalism and the expansion of its understanding à la francaise all over Europe, while every Nation and every State with their own constitutional history produced their own developments and contributed with their own understanding of Democracy and democratic freedoms.
Living in our times, marked by the fact that humanity had to pay a great tribute in the battlefields and the cities in the World War II so that Human Dignity and Democracy be guaranteed to everyone, as well as by the rise and fall of the Bolshevik concept of State, the Nations have expressed the determination to live harmoniously together, and some of them decided to create the European Union for a common future of European peoples.
It is exactly what we need to do today more than ever before in our European Union family, but also all over Europe, to work fervently with the aim to really get to know each other, to truly become a family in equality, mutual respect, will of understanding and converge, not in order to downgrade our standards for the sake of unanimity but for educating, convincing and learning from each other.
There is no one better for this kind of effort than the young generation of our times. They are inheriting from the former generations the results of their struggle and hopes for better societies, and they can take advantage of something which was long expected: the ideas, the ideals as well as education and research have no boundaries anymore throughout Europe and beyond.
It is needless to say that Constitutional Discourse, conceived as a scientific platform for dialogue, shall be open to everyone beyond political, geographical, religious, philosophical, or any other beliefs and orientations, while it is meant not to be a battlefield for activism of any kind.
Let us start discussing beyond nationalism, preconceptions, antagonisms, and, based on the firm foundations of the European civilization and constitutionalism, I am sure that a truly United Europe will emerge.
Professor Spyridon Flogaitis
President of the Advisory Board