Date(s) of Conference:
October 28-29, 2011
Bucerius Law School
Constitutions imply a long-term perspective: they seek to establish effective political institutions and to limit the vagaries of politics over the long haul. The American Founders made their ambition explicit in the Constitution’s Preamble, which promises to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” A similar impulse, though, also propelled the endeavor to establish a European Constitution a decade ago. After decades of groping towards an “ever-closer union” and the piecemeal construction of an unwieldy intergovernmental apparatus, the time had come to let the peoples of Europe know where the enterprise was headed and to establish a firmer, more democratic and functional framework of government.
For all their great and manifold differences, the American and the European projects both now confront fundamental challenges that appear to raise serious doubts about the continued relevance and viability of constitutionalism and constitutional order, as those terms have traditionally been understood. Some of those challenges are particular to the EU and the United States; others have manifested themselves on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Transatlantic Law Forum (TLF), a joint initiative of the American Enterprise Institute (Washington, D.C.) and the Council on Public Policy (Bayreuth, Germany), will discuss these issues ranging from bank bailouts to the constitutional implications of the crisis of the welfare state, from the role of constitutional courts and the question of whether constitutional democracies can still be governed. The event is co-sponsored by the Federalist Society.
The American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036