New Governance and EU Constitutionalism: Friends or Foes?

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Samantha Velluti
conference paper description
The current EU is a highly institutionalized template for integration, equipped with a whole spectrum of different modes of regulation ranging from ‘hard’ to ‘soft’ which, particularly in recent years, have been pragmatically combined together to develop a hybrid and multi-tiered EU system. The dramatic expansion of the EU governance tool-kit and variety of the objectives and internal structures of these EU governance tools have relied on a non-clearly identifiable mix of legal and policy instruments. These changes in EU governance pose a challenge to the rule of law and its main tenets and do not sit well with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) because they occupy an unsettled constitutional space. This space is characterized by a range of possible encounters between constitutionalism and governance. New EU governance, therefore, forces European scholars to rethink the way the EU system operates and the way Europeanization is being pursued. The paper explores the relationship between New Governance, law and constitutionalism, the problems concerning their conceptualization and further understanding in the context of EU social governance. Its main argument is that a stronger dialogue between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ regulatory mechanisms, that is, between New Governance and constitutionalism, may lead to a hybridized multi-level governance regime in which all governance tools are designed to achieve the same set of goals.