Author(s) Sérgio Maia Tavares Marques
Advisor(s) Alessandra Silveira
Year 2017

Synopsis The research that underlies this work seeks to ascertain the normative orientation on which the political action of the European Union is organized. In order to inquire into the content of such a normative orientation, its argument is based on the premise that there is a European public reason settled through the Union based on the rule of law concept. Thus, the work seeks to understand to what extent the public reason of the Union based on the rule of law fulfils its values of lawfulness and democratization, both in the legal-constitutional domain and in the political-material one, demanding an effective supranational framework of social solidarity for the realization of the rights deriving from the citizenship of the Union, what includes repercussions of political legitimacy. The paper describes and problematizes the evolutionary process, on one hand, of the idea of public reason of polity, starting with the reason of State until reaching the Union based on the rule of law, and, on the other hand, of the Union based on the rule of law itself in the course of the integration until the present. To this end, it observes, in the foreground, the jurisprudential understandings of the Court of Justice of the European Union, especially in social matters, which is shown to be directly related to the exercise of (fundamental) rights deriving from the status of citizenship of the Union with the enjoyment the essence of these rights and the effectiveness of citizenship itself, counterbalanced by the concept still under construction of “unreasonable burden” for the Member States. It also criticizes the impacts of variable geometry on EU law. In parallel, the work also reflects on the conjunctures of positive criticism, but also of national manipulations regarding the rights and policies of the Union regarding the anti-democratization of various types of economic and financial measures that directly interfere in the realization of the integration purposes of cohesion, full employment, protection and social progress. Besides, it seeks to realize the ways in which this material dimension of the public reason of the Union can be fulfilled through the recently launched European Pillar of Social Rights, whose aim is to respond to the challenges posed by the citizens of the Union. At last, it attempts to prove how the economic and financial functioning of the Euro can be combined with the achievement of social policies. The conclusion is the need to affirm social democratization within the framework of the public reason of the Union based on the rule law as an effective material response adequate to the aims of integration, especially the free exercise of fundamental rights deriving from European citizenship.

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