How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties


The European Union has always sought to portray itself as having a distinct identity built on a set of values. But how is this identity constructed through the EU's treaties? Odelia Oshri and Shaul Shenhav decipher the ways in which the EU's discourse on values has changed throughout the 60 years of European integration. They show that two values have traditionally dominated the Union's treaty texts – ‘democracy’ and a ‘market economy’. However, since the 1990s, new values have penetrated this discourse and have served to legitimate the expansion of the EU’s scope and ambition

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LSE Research Online

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This paper was published in LSE Research Online.

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