Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Europa Institute

Thorbecke beurs

Luuk van Middelaar and Vestert Borger, both affiliated with the Europa Institute of Leiden University, are conducting a research project that is financed by the Statesman Thorbecke Fund Programme of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The aim of the fund is to promote knowledge about the life, work and intellectual legacy of Johan Rudolf Thorbecke (1798-1872), statesman and founder of Dutch parliamentary democracy.

The project of Van Middelaar and Borger is entitled ‘The game of the European constitution: Notes on the Union, and its spokespersons, system and foundation’. It focuses on the unprecedented transformation that the association of European states, of which the Netherlands forms part, has undergone over the past years. Whereas the European Union used to primarily rely on law for its development, this does not suffice to deal with emergency situations like the euro crisis, refugee crisis or the war in Ukraine. Such events call for initiative, improvisation and the public power of persuasion. Those are qualities characteristic of political action, for which Europe lacked capacity until recently. Now that this capacity is developing under the pressure of events, the Union is changing in terms of its nature, strength and claims. This has broken the bond between its original constitutional self-image and its factual capacity for action. In the spirit of Thorbecke, the project aims to restore this bond by reading anew the Union’s constitutional foundations and thereby promote the discussion about the future of Europe.

The project is conducted between 2022-2026 and is expected to result in a book and several essays. Borger acts as project leader.

This website uses cookies.  More information.