Unity in Diversity: The Need for Constitutional Discourse (Editorial)
The European Integration has always been a playing field of conflicts, where interests and values have clashed. Interests and values of nations, intellectual and political tendencies and – of course –, European integration is also determined by economic interests. The collision of these interests and values creates conflicts and tension, not just nowadays, but from the beginning. At the same time, in the European Integration – in view of all this – the necessary consensus moved the integration process forward from time to time (e.g. the Luxembourg Compromise itself). It is a special place where dissenting parties and the positions they form have clashed in the past and still clash to this day. However, it is important to note that these parties are not enemies, merely opponents, which results in having everyone leave negotiations with a little more than what they came into the discussion 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’.
The formation and development of European integration has been a long process consisting of innumerable components, with social, cultural and constitutional values of the individual Member States playing a significant role in this process. These values must be protected and are being protected by constitutional law and constitutional jurisprudence. Undisputedly, the main driving force behind European integration is political consensus, but we must not forget that it is the discipline of constitutional law that is destined and able to maintain and support the stability of the process of integration. This role or mission has been in the crossfire in heated constitutional law debates for some time (often between constitutional justices and courts), which cannot be easily separated from the parallel political debates of the past few decades.
Those European thinkers and constitutional law scholars who wish to contribute to a professional discourse will have to keep in mind that they all share the responsibility to uphold the basic principle of European integration, and that the unity of European nations rests on the idea reliance on the input provided by the national level in the resolution of crises in Europe can be an added value in addition to respecting the contributions of the international level. The founders realized early on at the birth of European integration that European nations cannot be completely united as though they were in a melting pot. Thus, the key is to make Europe united in its diversity.
Constitutional Discourse is an initiative of young researchers brought to life by the politicized atmosphere of the European constitutional dimension. We believe that we need a platform for constructive debate of European constitutional discourse, while accepting the verity of the fact that there are no mutually exclusive truths. Today, we can read countless times the importance of freedom of speech and opinion, however when it comes to the science of constitutional law, the value of the opinion should be determined only by its professional content and judged by the community of scholars.
The Constitutional Discourse 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. We consider it necessary to create a platform that provides space for the younger generation to express their professional position on current constitutional, European issues. Of course, we warmly welcome the opinion of experienced researchers; our goal is to create an intergenerational platform that establishes a transnational bridge among scholars and generations. We are pleased to enjoy the support of experienced colleagues whose professional guidelines guarant the further progress of this initiative. We aim to provide an objectivity, impartial platform for those who deal with European, constitutional and international relations.Guided by our purpose, we asked the Advisory Board of the Constitutional Discourse Blog, chaired by Professor Spyridon Flogaitis to share their experiences and support our initiative. The European Public Law Organization, also directed by Professor Flogaitis, has similarly set its sights on intergenerational discourse and the creation of an international knowledge base that treats national differences as a value.
As editors of the blog, we accept intellectual and constitutional trends and ideologies, because we believe that political battles have their own place, just as professional debates should have. In the case of political debates, two mutually exclusive opinions cannot be found on one platform, because it is in the interest of both parties that only the one or the other should be the ‘only truth’. In professional discussions, this is different, or at least it should be different. As the editors of the blog, we do not want to take a stand on the issue of federal Europe, for instance, but we do want to learn about the pros and cons arguments. We would like to know what pros and cons our contemporaries and the generation above us have on such and similar issues and our main goal is to provide a platform for these opinions.
Europe has always existed in high tension of conflicting interests. However, the solution has always been consolidation, dialogue and finally, compromise. This is a natural phenomenon, since unity in diversity presupposes the existence of diversity itself. It goes without saying that if many different points of view coexist, conflict is a natural result. However, sometimes the parties involved do not realize that their positions are fit side by side. The objective, however, is to professionally manage these positions. That guarantees the success of the professional platform of coexisting conflicting opinions, that creates the opportunity for constructive debate and compromise.
As editors, we keep these goals in mind when running the Constitutional Discourse Blog. We hope that our initiative will attract the attention of as many contemporary colleagues interested in constitutional and European law as possible, and our community will be able to contribute to the development of European constitutional law through the Discourse.