Carlos Closa

Public Law, Comparative Democratization, Comparative Politics

Ph.D. Political Science
17.54

Publications

  • Source
    Carlos Closa
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Technical Report · May 2015
  • Source
    Carlos Closa
    Full-text · Working Paper · Feb 2015
  • Source
    Carlos Closa · Stefano Palestini
    [Show description] [Hide description]
    DESCRIPTION: Contrary to the assumption that the adoption and formalization of democratic protection mechanisms by regional organizations contribute per se to democratic consolidation, this article argues that the performance of those mechanism is tied to the interests of governments that are both their rule makers and their enforcers in concrete political crises. Governments design democratic protection mechanisms minimizing the probabilities that they could escape their discretionary control contributing to the paradoxical result that the provisions end up enforcing regime stability rather than democracy. We illustrate this claim with the intervention of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) in the post-Chávez Venezuela paying specific attention to two mechanisms: the democratic protocol and the electoral council. The structural bias in favor of the incumbent governments is not an exclusive tension of Unasur, and it should be systematically analyzed in the comparative studies and assessments of the link between regional organizations and democracy.
    Full-text · Working Paper · Jan 2015
  • Source
    Carlos Closa
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Against any superficial impression of uniformity, the Treaty of Lisbon offers a significant number of mechanisms for flexibility (i.e. establishing different obligations and/or with different deadlines for accomplishment for different member states). External treaties complete the vast array for flexibility in European integration. Their full deployment depends on political opportunity and they may offer some opportunities to develop some policy areas. However, they are not panacea to face EU’s biggest challenges.
    Full-text · Technical Report · Jan 2015
  • Source
    Carlos Closa
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Technical Report · Jan 2015
  • Carlos J. Closa Montero

    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Revista de Estudios Politicos
  • Source
    Carlos Closa · Daniela Vintila

    Full-text · Chapter · Apr 2014
  • Source
    Carlos Closa · Dimitry Kochenov · Joseph HH Weiler
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014
  • Source
    Carlos Closa
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014
  • Source
    Carlos Closa · Aleksandra Maatsch
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · JCMS Journal of Common Market Studies
  • Source
    Carlos J Closa Montero
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Revista de Estudios Politicos
  • Source
    Carlos Closa

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2014
  • Source
    Carlos Closa Montero · Violeta Ruiz Almendral

    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013
  • Source
    Carlos Closa
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Book · Jan 2013
  • Source
    Carlos Closa
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · West European Politics
  • Source
    Carlos Closa

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · SSRN Electronic Journal
  • Source
    Carlos Closa
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · SSRN Electronic Journal
  • Source
    Carlos Closa

    Full-text · Chapter · Mar 2012
  • Source
    Carlos Closa
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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).
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · SSRN Electronic Journal
  • Source
    Carlos Closa Montero
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011

253 Following View all

196 Followers View all