Constitutional courts and transnational solidarity conflicts

The research project reconstructs conflicts over distribution and recognition within the EU, which have intensified during the Eurozone-crisis, as transnational solidarity conflicts. It analyzes particularly the role national and European constitutional courts play in these conflicts.

Conflict and conflict resolution

The Eurozone crisis is accompanied by a politicization of European governance. Transnational solidarity conflicts, which were pacified for a long time within the paradigm of a permissive consensus, have now developed a new quality. The tsc-project analyzes how these conflicts might be articulated and if constitutional courts may resolve them productively.

Research material

The research projects deals with the role of constitutional and apex courts in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain as well as on the EU-level. It analyzes more than 100 judgements with regard to their management of transnational solidarity conflicts in the context of the Eurozone crisis.

Research aims

The tsc-project pursues three research aims: (1) to describe the dynamics of transnational solidarity conflicts and the institutional possibilities of their articulation; (2) to understand the consequences of tsc in the deep structures of national constitutional law; (3) to provide a normative yardstick for the role of constitutional courts in tsc.


The research project is affiliated at the Goethe-University Frankfurt and will be conducted in an intensive collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. It was launched on the 1st of March 2017 and is scheduled for five years.
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6. Social recognition through judicial conflict resolution

The sixth and last subproject builds on one of the central insights of the conception of solidarity emphasized in subproject 1: Solidarity within the Euro-zone does not only allude to financial trade-off, but to mutual social recognition among the member states and social groups in different member states. Therefore, solidarity is more than the mere compensation of disparate costs of adaptation necessary for the realization of a common transnational political order. In fact, it is about the mode and the criteria for securing social recognition within this transnational order.

This insight is crucial for the possibilities of judicial conflict resolution.

  • Which form of recognition (judicial or social) are courts able to provide? What are the appropriate procedural instruments, doctrinal patterns and forms of decision-making for generating recognition among individuals and among states?
  • Are the courts examined in our project able to do so with regard to their procedural possibilities and the material principles of their constitutional order?

Finally, we develop a normative framework on the basis of subproject 5 and 6, which will allow for assessing the legitimate functions of constitutional courts within TSC.

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