The clamorous rejection of the European Constitution in national referenda in 2005 was an important moment in the political history both of Europe and the countries that rejected it, including the Netherlands. The rejection of a specific text did not however signal the end of European constitutionalism. European constitutionalism is about the legitimate ordering of power in Europe and implies a far-reaching shift from market building towards a focus on rights, principles and values.
The Lisbon Treaty, stripped of most of the overtly constitutional symbols, preserved much of the substance of the original European Constitution. Its provisions on democratic principles and the Charter on Fundamental Rights in particular have given renewed impetus to European constitutionalist thinking. read more