‘National constitutional identity’ has become the new ‘buzz word’ in European constitutionalism over the past few years. Much has been written about the concept involving the Member States’ national constitutional identities: it has been welcomed for (finally) accommodating constitutional particularities in EU law, demonised for potentially disintegrating the EU, and wielded as a ‘sword
’ by certain constitutional courts. Scholars, judges and advocates general have rendered the concept currently so fashionable and yet so ambivalent that an in-depth analysis putting some order into the intense debate over constitutional identity is warranted.
This collection brings together a series of contributions from the perspective of both scholars and judges in order to shed some light into the dark corners of constitutional identity. To this end a threefold approach has been followed: a conceptual or philosophical approach, an approach based on EU law, and an analysis of the case-law of several European courts.
First the book explores what constitutional identity means and who decides on it. The next contributions analyse (and at times unveil) the areas that might collide or at least interact with constitutional identity. Among other issues the authors touch upon EU law primacy, Article 53 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, EU criminal law and the essential functions of the State, and the existence of an EU ‘constitutional core’ enjoyable and enforceable through EU citizenship.
Finally, the chapters dealing with the case-law of European courts on national constitutional identity include the perspective of various national constitutional courts, such as those of Eastern and Central European Member States, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the much less analysed European Court of Human Rights.
With contributions by Alejandro Saiz Arnaiz and Carina Alcoberro Llivina, José Luis Martí, Constance Grewe, Roberto Toniatti, Rafael Bustos Gisbert, Giuseppe Martinico, Monica Claes, Aida Torres Pérez, Maribel González Pascual, Daniel Sarmiento, Christian Tomuschat, Hèctor López Bofill, Joël Rideau, Pablo Pérez Tremps, Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen and Luis López Guerra.
About this book
‘[This] book achieves more than the simple presentation of the status quaestionis of national identity as a category of EU law. Among the already considerable literature on this subject – all too often perfectly omissible – the work edited by Saiz Arnaiz and Alcoberro Llivina stands out since they tackle the matter with a critical eye and refrain from limiting themselves to the description of the sole contingent manifestations of the concept in history. […] National Constitutional Identity and European Integration […] implies a genuine intellectual provocation that can only be appreciated and acclaimed.’
Juan Luis Requejo Pagés in Revista Española de Derecho Constitucional (2014) 425