The EU constitutional culture-what is missing

  • Tanja Karakamisheva Jovanovska
  • Aleksandar Spasenovski
Keywords: Constitution, Culture, Identity, Constitutional Court, ECJ, Rule of Law


The EU has its own constitutional culture even though it does not have a constitution in the formal sense of the word. The formation of the EU constitutional culture is the result of the joint continuous acceptance of the legal, political, economic and social categories, values, principles, but also acceptance of the specifics that are contained in the constitutional identities of the EU member states. Hence it is said that the constitutional culture of the EU represents a real mosaic, a set of different constitutional identities that the member states of the Union have within the framework of the national systems upgraded with the elements of the supranational system of values ​​that the EU creates and develops as a result of the action of the institutions of the Union, especially the Court of Justice of the EU. 

The constitutional culture of the EU develops on the foundations of the rule of law, democracy and respect of the human rights. It takes into account the values ​​related to the rule of law stipulated in national constitutions as basic laws, values ​​and principles as sources of inspiration so-called higher law and the collective identification of European citizens expressed through "the people's law" and networks them in a common axiological system of the Union on which EU policies should be based. 

But are EU policies always based on this common axiological set of values? Is there something missing in the constitutional culture of the EU, something crucial that problematizes the essence of the matrix for European unification?

The paper will try to explain the very notion of the EU constitutional culture, and then will be focused on the most relevant segment of that constitutional culture - the constitutional identities of the EU member states and their influence on the philosophy and the essence of the EU constitutional culture. When we are talking about the EU constitutional culture we are actually talking about EU constitutional identity which, from the other side, is a set of national constitutional identities of the member states of the Union. In order to understand the problems that the EU has today regarding its own constitutional culture and its constitutional identity as a part of that constitutional culture, we need to trace back to several national Constitutional Courts’ reactions to the Court of Justice of the European Union’s doctrine of primacy of the EU Law. Through analyzing these reactions, we will actually discover the key problems related to the formation and development of the constitutional culture of the EU.


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