The birth of the modern sovereign state is usually associated with the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, after which modern nation-states began to constitute in Europe. Today, some scholars argue that state sovereignty has been challenged by trends such as globalization and European integration not least. In his book, Questioning sovereignty, Neil MacCormick says that the European Union has witnessed a move beyond the sovereign state, and a dilution of sovereignty between member states, European institutions and sub-national actors.
[...] The French Prime Minister even made comments hinting how poor respect he had for the “Brussels bureaucracy”. Politicians are still able to strike the chord of national sovereignty when it comes to matters that seem important to them. Recent events have also highlighted that in controversial areas such as foreign policy, the pooling of sovereignties is more difficult. The European Union was split over Iraq, with most of the incoming members backing the US stance, whereas France and Germany were opposed to the war. [...]
[...] According to him, the loss of sovereignty at the national level has not been compensated by a gain at the level of the European institutions, rather, we have entered a post-sovereignty era, where sovereignty is divided and combined between member states, European institutions and sub-state authorities: sovereignty of the member states has not been lost, but subjected to a process of division and combination internally, and hence in a way, enhanced externally. But the process of division and combination has taken us “beyond the sovereign MacCormick welcomes this move, for it provides avenues for enhancing democracy: the end of the sovereign state creates an opportunity for rethinking problems about national identity. [...]
[...] National jurisdictions across the Union have also asserted, though sometimes reluctantly, as in the French case, the supremacy of EC law and the obligation for national governments to implement European directives. The sovereignty of European member states is thus challenged to a greater extent by European law and case law than by international law: member states are bound by the ruling of the European Court of Justice, and unlike that of the International Court of Justice, its competence is mandatory for EU member states. [...]
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