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Can the EU become a 'just' institution? Andrew Williams considers this highly charged political and moral question by examining the role of five salient values said to be influential in the governance and law of the Union: peace, the rule of law, respect for human rights, democracy, and liberty. He assesses each of these as elements of an apparent ‘institutional ethos’ and philosophy of EU law and finds that justice as a governing ideal has failed to be taken seriously in the EU. To remedy this condition, he proposes a new set of principles upon which justice might be brought more to the fore in the Union’s governance. By focusing on the realisation of human rights as a core institutional value, Williams argues that the EU can better define its moral limits so as to evolve as a more just project.
• Explores the history of key values in the EU, helping readers interpret the nature and influence of values on the law and actions of the EU • Provides a framework for analysis of the ethical dimensions of the EU and a means by which the history and current practices of the EU institutions can be better understood • Proposes a philosophical framework for redesigning the law and practice of the EU, which allows readers to contemplate new directions for the EU to follow