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Varga Zs. András: Role of constitutional courts in protection of national/constitutional identity. Nr. 2017/20.

Article 2 and 6 of TEU identifies common values of the member states, while Article 4 rules that the Union shall respect the equality of Member States before the Treaties as well as their national identities, inherent in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional, inclusive of regional and local self-government. Common traditions as international or supranational values are and will be protected later on by the ECJ which perhaps will maintain the primacy of the EU law against national constitutions. But just the TEU gives a strong background for the standpoint that the common European constitutional heritage must not be opposed to national constitutional identity and vice versa. The two set of values should be equilibrated. The common values contain what is common, the national values cover what is not common. But values that are not common are also values and these values also need legal protection. This protection is vested in the constitutional courts of the member states of the CoE and the EU. Thus the constitutional courts may have different tasks but their primary mission is protection of their own constitutional identity. This is not only national but – if we accept the regulation of the TEU – it is also a European mission.

The working paper is available to downlaod here.

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