Carlos Closa

Public Law, Comparative Democratization, Comparative Politics

Ph.D. Political Science
17.17

Publications

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    Carlos Closa
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    ABSTRACT: Highlights Recent events in some Member States show that the EU's values (article 2, TEU), in particular the Rule of Law, are not exempt from being challenged. Constitutional changes in Hungary, executive non-compliance with constitutional court rulings in Romania, and expulsion of Bulgarian and Hungarian Roma citizens in France are some of the episodes that illustrate these challenges. Article 7 provides a mechanism for securing Member States´ompliance with the values contained in article 2. However, its potential devastating effects makes it unsuitable for an early reaction to potential threats. Hence, the EU needs to equip itself with a better procedure for scrutinising Member States' compliance with the Rule of Law for which the EU Commission and the European Council have proposed alternative instruments. Rather than adding a new proposal, a number of principles outlined in the recommendations should inspire this new mechanism.
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    Carlos Closa
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    ABSTRACT: The consolidation of regionalism as a broad field of research attracting scholars across disciplines demands an inquiry on its scientific foundations. This inquiry should consider the object of research, the methods and the theories used. First, regionalism scholars lack a consensually agreed definition of their subject. Second, research focuses mainly in case studies, led by area specialists and comparative research is a rather occasional methodological occurrence. Finally, regionalism has not produced significant theoretical advances vis-à-vis neighbouring disciplines. In summary, regionalism contribution to knowledge is scarce and this paper suggests, instead, applying mainstream political science and international relations objects, methods and theories.
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    Carlos Closa
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of the economic and fiscal crisis and the institutional instruments created to deal with it have led several actors (from governments and EU bodies to scholars) to propose different EU reforms. Several options exist to accommodate future constitutional development which, in some cases, may require Treaty revision. In this case, future constitutional evolution faces the challenge that the very stringent EU revision requirement (i.e. unanimity) poses. Other available options do not seem totally satisfactory.
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    Carlos Closa, Daniela Vintila
    El estado de la Unión 2013-2014 Fundación Alternativas, Edited by Diego López Garrido, 04/2014: chapter La ciudadanía europea en tiempo de crisis: pages 21-32; Fundación Alternativas.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides a critical overview of options available to the EU to deal with the Rule of Law crisis in some of the Member States. The options it engages with were offered and discussed by a handful of the leading experts in the field and drawing on the critical EUI discussion, the first part of the paper tackles the following questions: 1. Why should the EU reinforce the oversight of Member States’ Rule of Law performance? 2. Are there sufficient legal bases for such oversight – should a reform of the Treaties be required? 3. What kind of procedure could be designed to meet the need of such oversight? 4. Which body should be entrusted with the oversight function? The second part provides a word of caution warning of the possible problems related to the EU's involvement with the constitutional core of the Member States
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    Carlos Closa
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    ABSTRACT: In the heat of the economic crisis, the demands for treaty revision have re-emerged in the EU agenda. However, any future reform will have to deal with the strictness of the revision procedure, which is caused by the obstacles that the combination of the unanimity requirement and powerful veto players may create at any moment during ratification. The alternatives are not particularly attractive, since they have significant political costs and effects. Caught between a set of less than optimal alternatives for proceeding with treaty revision, the European Union seems placed between a rock and a hard place. This paper explores whether revision is at all feasible under current or al-ternative procedures, and argues that any option is sub-optimal. 1 Introduction The history of the EU shows that treaty revision is almost essential to its existence: since 1951, there have been at least five rounds of successful treaty reforms (i.e. the Single European Act (SEA), Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon), a big failure (i.e. the European Constitution) and some minor revisions (the 1967 Merger Treaty, etc.), not to mention the revisions brought about through enlargement. Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) details the revision procedures and offers two options. The first one, named the ordinary procedure, requires that a convention be held (involving national and European parliamentarians, members of the Commission and national governments). The alternative procedure applies to minor revisions (i.e. those that do not involve a transference of powers to the EU), and can be implemented by means of a Decision of the European Council without a convention. The two procedures have the same requirements in order for revisions to enter
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    Carlos Closa, Aleksandra Maatsch
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    ABSTRACT: This article examines national parliamentarians' approval of the increased budgetary capacity of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) in autumn 2011. Following the analysis of vote outcome and plenary debates in 11 euro states, it is found that the financial position of a state (creditors versus debtors) does not explain the patterns of support and opposition. Rather, two other factors account for these differences: Euroscepticism, and the government and opposition cleavage. In particular, whereas Eurosceptic MPs voted and argued against the EFSF, the parliamentary majorities supported it. Surprisingly, although the legal basis of the EFSF draws on solidarity among the European Union Member States, the supporters of the EFSF did not refer to this principle in their speeches but rather to pragmatic considerations such as national economic interests.
    JCMS Journal of Common Market Studies 01/2014; DOI:10.1111/jcms.12119 · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    Carlos J Closa Montero
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    ABSTRACT: Las medidas introducidas para gestionar la crisis han transformado la arqui-tectura institucional de la gobernanza macroeconómica y fiscal de la UE en cuatro dimensiones. Primero, los cambios han petrificado (es decir, elevado a un rango normativo superior) determinadas opciones en esos ámbitos políticos. Segundo, en términos sustantivos, la constitución económica europea ha virado hacia un mar-cado carácter monetarista con una casi ilegalización, en paralelo, del keynesianis-mo. Tercero, en la dimensión institucional, la Comisión ha emergido cómo un actor funcional con un papel capital, mientras que los parlamentos, en cuarto lugar, sean nacionales o europeos, han quedado totalmente relegados. En conjunto, los cambios implican una «mutación constitucional» en la UE. Palabras claves: Gobernanza macroeconómica y fiscal europea; cambios cons-titucionales europeos; instituciones de la UE.
    Revista de Estudios Politicos 01/2014; 165:48-7694. · 0.20 Impact Factor
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    Carlos Closa
    The state of the Union. How citizens deal with these times of crisis, Edited by Diego López Garrido et al, 01/2014: chapter European citizenship in a time of crisis: pages 19-29; Fundación Alternativas and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung., ISBN: 978-84-92848-68-3
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    Carlos Closa Montero, Violeta Ruiz Almendral
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    Carlos Closa
    SSRN Electronic Journal 01/2013; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2355307
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    Carlos Closa
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    ABSTRACT: Courts in a given institutional context are aware of the implementation costs of their decisions. Contrary to some interpretations of Higher Courts’ reasoning, these have decided, in most cases, that EU treaties are compatible with national constitutional law. In cases on the constitutionality of EU treaties, a negative decision on a given treaty offers only two possible implementation options: either the treaty is re-negotiated or the constitution is modified. The most rigid constitutional revision procedures involve citizens either by means of a referendum and/or an intervening election. Therefore, and despite a significant number of appeals, Higher Courts have not ruled that EU reform treaties require constitutional revision for their ratification when citizens intervene in constitutional amendment procedures
    West European Politics 01/2013; 36(1). DOI:10.1080/01402382.2013.742739 · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    Carlos Closa
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    ABSTRACT: Since its inception, the European Union (EU) has revised its foundational treaties several times, resulting in national ratification processes involving different actors, with varying success. This book focuses on the politics of ratification of EU Treaties and reviews the processes of ratification of EU primary legislation. Existing research and academic debate on EU constitutional politics have almost exclusively focussed on negotiation of new treaties and their institutional setting. However, this book explains how the result of ratification was achieved, and analyses the strategy that actors pursue across Europe. Ratification of the Treaty of Maastricht and the EU Constitution failed totally, whilst other ratification can be considered partial failures such as the Irish Nice and Lisbon referendums. As the EU Constitution has proved, the ratification process may have deep effects unforeseen during the processes of negotiation. In recent years, ratification has produced some of the most intense debates on national membership of the EU and the EU itself.
    01/2013; Routledge., ISBN: 978-0-415-45489-6
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    Carlos Closa
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    ABSTRACT: El nuevo Tratado de Estabilidad, Coordinación y Gobernanza en la Unión Económica y Monetaria ha prescindido, por primera vez en la historia del proceso de integración europea, del requisito de la unanimidad para su entrada en vigor. En su lugar, ha introducido la regla de 'casi ¾' (esto es 12 de los 17 miembros del euro deben ratificar para que el Tratado entre en vigor) y, además, no se tomará en consideración a los 10 Estados que no forman parte de la moneda común. La eliminación del veto transforma radicalmente el juego de la ratificación, en el que existen varios actores (como el Tribunal Constitucional Federal alemán o las dificultades derivadas de una eventual reforma constitucional en Francia) que pueden condicionar el proceso. En términos puramente formales, la eliminación de la unanimidad significa que ninguno de ellos tiene capacidad para cancelar el proceso. Sin embargo, introduce un escenario de relativa incertidumbre en el que se fuerza a cada actor a integrar en sus cálculos las decisiones que se están tomando en otros Estados miembros. En este contexto, que se desencadene una secuencia de ratificaciones relativamente rápida creando una masa crítica cercana a los 12 Estados miembros puede resultar decisivo para sortear dificultades puntuales planteadas en uno o más Estados.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 03/2012; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2018190
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    Carlos Closa
    Changing federal constitutions. Lessons from international comparison, Edited by Arthur Benz and Felix Knüpling, 03/2012: chapter Constitutional Rigidity and Procedures for Ratifying Constitutional Reforms in EU Member States: pages 281-310; Verlag Barbara Budrich., ISBN: ISBN 978-3-8474-0000-4
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    Carlos Closa
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    ABSTRACT: Memory has become an object of dispute in the EU. Different groups and states do not have a full convergence of views and this raises the question as to whether the EU should or should not be involved. A pluralist conception of justice would argue that the recognition of memory is not excluded as a form of justice. Adopting this view, this paper argues that the recognition of memory can be addressed at the EU level if the different components of justice are allocated to the proper spheres (recognition, retribution and recognition) and levels (national and European).
    SSRN Electronic Journal 12/2011; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.1972355
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    Carlos Closa Montero
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    ABSTRACT: The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (TSCG) removes the unanimity requirement for entry into force. This innovation is possible because, technically, the TSCG I not an EU Treaty. It is not constructed as a reform of the EU Treaties following Article 48 which prescribes unanimity. So far, EU treaty revision is firmly locked in the unanimity requirement creating a Catch-22 situation: unanimity can only be removed unanimously. This, together with an adherence to a ‘strict construction’ in the interpretation of EU law and the relative absence of instances of ratification failures may explain the permanence of the requirement. As the basic rule of constitution-making, several criticisms can be launched against unanimity. This paper discusses the rule of unanimity in three parts: it presents, firstly, the origins and maintenance of the rule through the EU’s successive treaty reforms, as well as the theoretical alternatives proposed. The second part of the paper raises various arguments against unanimity: the factual outcome of the practice of unanimity, its effect on the model of constitutional rules of the Union, the issue of consent and the possibility of externalising the effects of unanimity. The third part presents and discusses the provisions in the existing draft on a reinforced economic union. The conclusion argues in favour of any rule short of unanimity, since its most important property will be to transform the dynamics of the ratification process.
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    Carlos Closa
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    ABSTRACT: During the last years, several subjects have advanced claims for developing within the EU specific elements of what is often referred to as policies of memory. Whilst this trend could be perceived as one more instance of transference of domestic issues to the EU level, the distinctive trait of these claims is that claims on memory are associated both to justice and identity and, hence, they appeal to an underlying structure of normative justification. This paper examines these claims and discusses the normative argument supporting them. The argument revises, firstly, what are the policies of memory and, secondly, it discusses the relation between policies and politics towards the past in order to unveil the subjective component associated to recognition. The subjective dimension of recognition paves the way for asserting the location of victims as the most legitimate bearer of claims for recognition. The third section describes the very limited policies and politics of memory in the EU in order to enter, fourthly, into a deeper analysis of the new claims emerging in the post 2004 scenery. The argument elaborates then a theoretical frame which draws on the notion of “recognition order” of Honneth in order to establish the normative foundation for EU policies of memory. Being the EU a recognition order, claims referring memory cannot be legitimately excluded from the EU agenda. Nevertheless, legitimacy of claims for recognition does not mean that policies and proposals linked to these claims have automatic validity. Rather, policies must derive from EU wide deliberation on the claims and the proper policies to pursue having in mind a number of requirements. The conclusion sums up the argument.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 05/2011; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.1830606
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    Carlos Closa Montero
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    ABSTRACT: The short period of time that has elapsed since the designation of the first permanent President of the European Council makes it difficult to make any assessment so far. However, beyond the formal aspects, how the incumbent performs will be decisive for the posts future consideration. Furthermore, this initial moment is critical in that it will probably set the course to be followed in the future. How Van Rompuy manages is likely to affect the position�s definition and scope as much as Javier Solana�s incumbency shaped the post of High Representative.
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    Carlos Closa Montero
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    ABSTRACT: The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty brings a number of institutional innovations. Among these, the Treaty includes a number of modalities of differentiated integration which did already exist (such as enhanced cooperation or opt-outs) and it adds some new forms: �oriented� enhanced cooperation; opt-ins and permanent structured cooperation on defence. Given the subsidiary character that these forms have vis-à-vis the standard Community methods (all states through the same legal instruments), the Trio cannot anticipate an agenda of application for any of them. Nevertheless, some issues may crop up in the agenda that require action by means of these instruments.
    01/2010;

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