The Long Quest for Identity

Political Identity and Fundamental Rights Protection in the European Union

by Gabriele de Angelis (Volume editor) Paulo Barcelos (Volume editor)
©2013 Edited Collection 239 Pages


The constitutionalisation of the European Union has been a major goal of European politics from the late 1980s until recently. It is supposed to enhance the citizens’ feeling of belonging and give the Union a clearer political identity and legitimacy. The current euro-crisis seems to have stopped the pursuit of an «ever closer» and constitutionalised Union. National interests and intergovernmental bargaining are now at the centre of European business. While we wonder what will become of the European constitutional project, it remains worthwhile to cast additional light onto what it was supposed to be until recently and how it changed the institutional face of the Union. This volume does so by analysing the political and legal facets of constitutionalisation. Contributions delve into the debates that marked the evolution of the constitutionalisation project and its overall institutional consequences, and focus on fundamental rights protection, the implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, legal conflicts between the European Court of Justice and national constitutional courts, and the legal and political balance of power between EU institutions and national authorities with regard to the defence of fundamental rights and the rule of law.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2013 (August)
citizens power national authorities
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 239 pp.

Biographical notes

Gabriele de Angelis (Volume editor) Paulo Barcelos (Volume editor)

Gabriele De Angelis is a researcher in political theory at the Universidade Nova of Lisbon, Portugal. He completed his first PhD at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and his second at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy. Before taking on his current position he has worked at the University of Pisa as a teaching fellow. After focusing his research activities on the social theory of J. Habermas and N. Luhmann he devoted himself to the study of European political institutions, paying particular attention to the European Parliament. Paulo Barcelos is a PhD candidate and a lecturer at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He is an associate researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of Language. His research activities focus on contemporary political theory, with particular attention to the debates concerning globalization, global distributive justice and transnational democracy.


Title: The Long Quest for Identity