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Europe: Political, Not Cosmopolitan


  • For J. H. H. Weiler, in admiration and in friendship.


The article challenges the established view according to which the authority of the EU is inexplicable in terms of collective civic self-determination. Contrary to this widely held belief, it explains the condition under which it is plausible to impute the current shape of the Union to the collective self-determination of European citizens. This condition is met if citizens approach the Union with a cosmopolitan attitude. The article then goes on to explain that while the Union may not appear optimal under this condition, it looks quite disastrous when approached from the perspective of political self-determination. The argument makes an appeal to European citizens. They have to come to grips with their own self-understanding. Should European citizens come to realise that they are, after all, political beings because they care about sustaining a form of life at specific place of the world, they will have to re-appropriate Europe for themselves.

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