2020/ 2021

Manuel Müller

Mobility Phase: University of Helsinki - Centre of Excellence "Law, Identity and the European Narratives"

The Cosmopolitan-Democratic Narrative of European Integration

Manuel Müller is Senior Researcher at Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) in Berlin. He grew up in Bamberg, Helsinki and Valencia and studied History and Spanish Philology in Bamberg, Granada and Berlin. He was a Fellow of the postgraduate research group “Multilevel Constitutionalism: European Experiences and Global Perspectives” (Grakov) at the Law Faculty of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and one of the coordinators of the Franco-German research network “Saisir lʼEurope – Europa als Herausforderung”. His doctoral thesis in Contemporary History, which was published in early 2021, analyses the European public sphere in the debate on the Maastricht Treaty. His research interests also include the political system and institutional reform of the EU, European Parliament elections, and European political parties. Since 2011, Manuel runs the blog “Der (europäische) Föderalist”, which deals with constitutional politics at the European and global level with a focus on supranational democracy.

The Cosmopolitan-Democratic Narrative of European Integration

Finality-oriented narratives play a pivotal role in the normative justification and legitimization of European unification. However, the three most common policy objectives ascribed to the EU – peace, prosperity, and self-assertion on the global stage – do not offer a direct reason for its most important peculiarity: supranationality. A stronger argument is offered by the cosmopolitan-democratic narrative, according to which European integration serves the double constitutional objective of individual freedom and collective self-government on a supranational level. Unlike the other three, this narrative places the democratic self-determination of individual citizens at its centre and thereby transcends the logic of national interests. The research project analyses the role of the cosmopolitan-democratic narrative for European integration: its internal logic and its relationship to the peace, prosperity, and self-assertion narratives, its historical evolution, its significance for the current constitution of the EU, its challenges and critiques, and its potential for the future political and constitutional development of European integration.