In Search of Limits for the Protection of National Identities as a Member State Interest

  • Darinka PiqaniEmail author


The tension between commonly agreed EU objectives and Member States’ interests is a characteristic feature of integration in the European Union. Already in the context of the EEC Treaty, Member States were precluded from adopting measures that would obstruct the internal market unless they could invoke very good reasons permitted by the Treaty or the case law of the Court of Justice. Seeing the purpose of the founding Treaties, namely taming nationalism and sovereignty, national identities did not find a place in the initial Treaty framework. However, since the introduction of the principle on the protection of national identities in the Treaty of Maastricht, this concept has been invoked by Member States, quite often for the protection of fundamental national interests. This chapter aims at exploring the constraints in invoking Article 4(2) TEU and does so by looking at the main features indispensable for the application of EU law, at the principle of proportionality and lastly, at the founding values protected in Article 2 TEU.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden University, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Governance and Global AffairsLeiden/The HagueThe Netherlands

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