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Balancing Difference and Equality of Political Rights in the European Union – A Paradigm of Constitutional Pluralism

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Chapter Summary

The concept of constitutional pluralism would, however, encourage institutions of all participating legal orders to avoid such conflicts by accepting differences, as long as they did not call into question the proper functioning of the legal order at issue. From a transnational perspective one may perceive an example of a fine balance within the European Union, giving a new meaning to hitherto nationally defined values, notably of representation, equality and solidarity. As far as the political rights of European citizens are concerned, equality seems to have been achieved only to a certain degree. Constitutional pluralism should encourage actors within the EU and its Member States to accept different versions of constitutional notions such as equality within their respective legal orders, rather than to cast doubt on the legitimacy of an institution simply because it is composed on the basis of criteria which are unfamiliar in one national legal order.

Keywords: constitutional pluralism; difference; equality; European citizens; European Union; legal orders; political rights



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