Introduction

With this publication—Dialogues on EU politics—I have tried to convey ideas in a dialogical format. The book explores some of the common themes in the European integration process, while delving into political theory and philosophy when necessary. Some notable topics include:

  • what binds together the EU polity;
  • the EU as a federation;
  • the EU as a republic;
  • Europe’s differentiated integration;
  • the propriety of referenda in modern democracy;
  • whether neoliberalism is inherent to the euro/EU.

These are complemented by theoretical insights on politics as well as on method, such as:

  • the meaning of democracy with fundamental rights and the rule of law;
  • the distinction between primary law and the constitution;
  • the scopes of sovereignty and its emergent nature;
  • the notion of “democratic sovereignty”;
  • the incrementalism of EU policy caused by the gradualism of European integration;
  • the disaggregation of the subjects of inquiry.

On the level of communicating ideas, I find the dialogue to be a very powerful and didactic tool. It has a certain flow to it that make it easier to follow. Ultimately though, this is an experiment. Whether the rigid structure of the essay can be replaced by a method of analysis that is equally effective yet more intuitive.

These are fictional discussions between friends. The setting is a bar or a cafeteria that serves alcoholic beverages. I have personally had some of the most rewarding debates in that kind of environment, hence the choice.

This is a short book. It is meant to complement the work I do on my EU politics blog, and everything I have written over time in the books section of my website. It rephrases old ideas of mine while introducing some new ones.

As for the presentation of the Dialogues, it is a web-based publication that looks exactly like a series of blog posts. I publish in a native web format, because I find it technically superior to other alternatives such as .pdf files. These pages are indexable, can be read on any device that can browse the Internet, and are highly portable: easy to copy and reuse, easy to migrate to another database, etc. I do, nonetheless, provide a single page view, the print section. This is meant to serve readers who would rather keep physical copies.

Finally, the Dialogues on EU politics is distributed free of charge under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License version 4.