The Moral Distinctiveness of the European Union

This article is a comment and reflection on Joseph Weiler’s essay ‘The Political and Legal Culture of the European Union: an Exploratory Essay.’ The article responds to Weiler’s argument by sketching a philosophical framework within which we may understand the moral distinctness of the European Union. The argument is informed by the international political theories outlined by Kant and Rawls, according to which the domain of international institutions is distinct from that of domestic politics. If the European Union is an international project for the achievement of international and cosmopolitan objectives, then the virtues that it ought to promote are not those of the state. Instead, the relevant virtues are outward looking in that they require respect to other nations and citizens as equal members of the society of peoples.
Keywords European Union  Global Justice  Rawls  Kant
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