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The overall aim of the research project is to provide a new theoretical basis for a principle-based EU challenge to the East Central European judicial interpretations of national identity by the member states. It is of utmost importance, because some East Central European constitutional courts apply an ethnocultural understanding of identity, thereby putting European integration into peril.

Although the EU is clearly committed to shared values and principles, Article 4(2) of the Treaty on European Union obliges the EU to respect the national identities of the member states.” Due to the recent migration flow in Europe, some member states are currently attempting to (re)define themselves and offer a legal definition of identity. They apply Article 4(2) as a means of derogating from some of their obligations under EU law.

Despite the vast literature available on national identity and its role in EU law, there has been little attention paid to the recently emerging trend of judicial reinvention of national identity in East Central Europe. This is what this research offers. It focuses on the Visegrád Group (V4), which consists of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. The V4 countries are united in their views on rejecting migrant relocation quotas in the EU, and define their exclusionist communal identities accordingly. The main subject of the research is the relevant case law of the constitutional courts, since the V4 courts have an authoritative role in enforcing nation-state policies based upon ethnocultural considerations.

The project provides a new theoretical basis and a comparative-analytical description of the judicial interpretations of identity in the V4 countries, on which we can better understand the recent East Central European trend of disintegration. Furthermore, the project results provide a principle-based tool for an EU challenge to the judicial interpretations of national identity in the member states.

The project runs between September 2019 and August 2021.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 794368.

Selected Publications

Kovács, Kriszta/Tóth, Gábor Attila (2019): "The Age of Constitutional Barbarism". In: Verfassungsblog - On Matters Constitutional, 07.09.2019.

Principal Investigator

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Center for Global Constitutionalism

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