The role of national identity in the adjudication of EU law
PhD student: Mrs Dr E. Cloots
Promotors: Prof A. Alen, Prof K. Lenaerts
Duration: 1/10/2009 - 30/9/2013
PhD defence: Leuven, 31/5/2013
In recent years, the EU and, more particularly, the ECJ have been heavily criticised because they allegedly endanger the national, often constitutionally entrenched identities of the Member States. This research project purports to examine this allegation. In a first part, a normative framework will be developed which recognises the value of national identity, while not losing sight of the need for a uniform and effective application of EU law. Next, the case law of the ECJ and a selection of national courts will be studied, in order to assess the extent to which and the ways in which these courts respect the Member States national identities when applying EU law. Particular attention will be paid to four aspects of national identity: fundamental rights protection, separation of powers, state structure, and language policy. Finally, the thesis will conclude with recommendations to European and domestic courts wishing to adjudicate in a way which is respectful of national identity as well as the European integration project.