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On the Possibility to Reach Consensus

Private Collection: Karolin, Sebastian ja Solveig. Tartu, 2009

Private Collection: Karolin, Sebastian ja Solveig. Tartu, 2009

My “little” sister Kristina married Andreas in 1995. The couple has three wonderful children – Solveig, Karolin and Sebastian. Each of them is a person. But persons tend to have their personal opinions on how things are and ought to be. Sometimes I wonder how does this three-headed group reach consensus.




An excerpt from my article, “Decision-Making in the European Union”:

“… as no human being can know what the entire common truth is, no-one is objective. Consequently, there can exist only subjective ideologies and subjective laws. […] And the central questions concerning rights have been – what are the rights that should be recognized and how an agreement is reached upon such rights. 

Those questions are equally important within states, as well as in states’ relations with other states and international actors. If one takes for instance the EU, where the Member States’ legal systems differ, as well as differs the understanding of basic values, one can imagine that consensus may be difficult to reach. Thus, the participants in such suprastate systems and procedures constantly find themselves in the condition of relevant universality. 

As  p e o p l e  are involved in recognition processes, but people can only be subjective, they constantly face also the questions – can there exist absolute rights at all or are all rights constrained in the (subjective) interest of someone; how does one know that the right values have been codified and how does one become aware of the values that need to be codified (uncodified morals); isn’t the content of rights actually determined by the political will of the governors, and how to avoid the latter? Is such avoidance possible? Who should be authorized to say that something is acceptable for everyone?”

FOLLOW – One starting point: „[t]heir conflict was due to the fact that they did not agree on the ultimate point of reference from which they were arguing“ (Nico Krisch. “The Case for Pluralism in Postnational Law” Hertie School of Governance. LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 12/2009, p. 14).

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