Rashomon in Karlsruhe – A reflection on Democracy and Identity in the European Union

On June 30, 2009, the German Constitutional Court declared the Lisbon Treaty to be compatible with the German constitution. The Lisbon decision marked the end of an intense constitutional battle. The following text illustrates how different views on and different understandings of European constitutional law and European integration and, more generally speaking, different backgrounds and perspectives may lead to different readings of the decision. It also suggests an assessment of the state of European constitutionalism and of some changes in its landscape, arguing that democracy as the central constitutional concept of reflection and debate is being replaced by identity.