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The Protection of National Constitutional Identity and the Limits of European Integration at the Occasion of the Gauweiler Case

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2019


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This contribution revisits the Bundesverfassungsgericht's order for reference in the Gauweiler case and focuses on two aspects of that order that until now have not received much scholarly attention. The first concerns the German federal constitutional court's dissociation of constitutional identity review under the German Basic Law from national identity review under Article 4(2) TEU. While the decision on the Lisbon Treaty had suggested that the two go “hand in hand”, the Bundesverfassungsgericht now emphasizes the “fundamental” difference between the concept of national identity under Article 4(2) TEU on the one hand and the German concept of constitutional identity on the other. The second element is the German federal constitutional court's contention that its approach to ultra vires and constitutional identity review can also be found in the constitutional law of many other member states. Yet, careful analysis demonstrates that while there does indeed seem to be a trend in that direction, and several elements of the German approach can also be found in other countries, very few national courts are as adamant as the Bundesverfassungsgericht, and only a handful have developed their position with the same level of detail and ardor.

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1 Case C-62/14, Peter Gauweiler and Others v. Deutscher Bundestag, para. 16 (June 16, 2015), Scholar

2 Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court], Jan. 14, 2014, 2 BvR 2728/13, Scholar

3 For Sweden, the reference is not to the constitutional case law, but to the Constitution itself. Indeed, the constitutional provision referred to (Article 6 of Chapter 10 of the Swedish Instrument of Government) is new and has not yet given rise to constitutional case law, which is not surprising given the Swedish tradition of not having these issues decided by the courts.Google Scholar

4 With a touch of malignance the AG here makes reference to Andreas Vosskuhle, Der Europäische Verfassungsgerichtsverbund 22 (TranState Working Papers No.16, Staatlichkeit im Wandel – Transformations of the State, Bremen, 2009) (citing Peter Häberle & Markus Kotzur, Europäische Verfassungslehre 478 (6th ed. 2009)).Google Scholar

5 Opinion of Advocate General Cruz Villalón at para. 61, Case C-62/14, Gauweiler and Others v. Deutscher Bundestag (Jan. 14, 2015), Scholar

6 The distinction goes back to the French revolution and has its roots in the Middle-Ages. See Loughlin, Martin, The Concept of Constituent Power, 13 Eur. J. Pol. Theory 218, 221 (2014). In 1789, Emmanuel Josef Siéyès presented the distinction between “pouvoir constituant” and “pouvoirs constitués” in his famous Qu'est ce que le tiers etat?; in his thinking, the distinction encompassed that between “pouvoir constituant originaire” and “pouvoir constituant institué,” see Alain Laquièze, La reception de Sieyès par la doctrine publicitiste française du XIXème et du XXème siècles, 6 Historia Constitucional (revista electronica) 229, 256 (2005). The distinction is an offshoot of social contract theories; Jürgen Habermas, Zur Prinzipienkonkurrenz von Bürgergleichheit und Staatengleichheit im supranationalen Gemeinwesen. Eine Notiz aus Anlass der Frage nach der Legitimität der ungleichen Repräsentation der Bürger im Europäischen Parlament, 53 Der Staat 167, 180–81(2014).Google Scholar

7 On the reception of the distinction in German scholarship and case-law, see for instance Ingolf Pernice, Carl Schmitt, Rudolf Smend und die europäische Integration, 120 Archiv des öffentlichen Rechts (AöR) 100 (1995); Karlheinz Rode, Verfassungsidentität und Ewigkeitsgarantie. Anmerkungen zu einem Mythos der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehre (2012).Google Scholar

8 “(V)on dem Willen beseelt, als gleichberechtigtes Glied in einem vereinten Europa dem Frieden der Welt zu dienen, hat sich das deutsche Volk kraft seiner verfassungsgebenden Gewalt dieses Grundgesetz gegeben.” See also Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court], June 20, 2009, Case No. 2 BvE 2/08, para. 216, Scholar

9 BVerfG, Case No. 2 BvE 2/08 at paras. 217–18.Google Scholar

10 Perhaps even the pouvoir constituant originaire is bound by the principles of human dignity, freedom and equality, due to their “universal nature.” BVerfG, Case No. 2 BvE 2/08 at para. 217.Google Scholar

12 Id. at para. 235.Google Scholar

13 Id. at para. 216. The interpretation that Germany's current constitutional settlement prohibits Germany to abandon its sovereign statehood is disputed, inter alia on the basis of the statement in the German constitution's preamble that the German people wants to promote world peace as an “equal partner in a united Europe,” see Pernice, supra note 7, at 116.Google Scholar

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22 Id. at para. 298.Google Scholar

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40 BVerfG, Case No. 2 BvE 2/08 at para. 246. The statement concerning the German government only adds to the confusion. It makes one wonder whether all legislative competences may be transferred as long the EU Council of Ministers decides unanimously.Google Scholar

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101 Sayn-Wittgenstein, Case C-208/09. The list of ECJ judgments which the BVerfG links to Article 4(2) is conspicuously short. Scholarship has connected many more judgments to the provision. Claes, supra note 76, at 130–33; Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen, A Huron at the Kirchberg Plateau or a Few Naive Thoughts on Constitutional Identity in the Case-law of the Judge of the European Union, in National Identity and European Integration 275 (Alejandro Saiz Arnaiz & Carina Alcoberro Llivina eds., 2013).Google Scholar

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107 BVerfG, Case No. 2 BvR 2728/13 at para 30.Google Scholar

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109 For a detailed analysis, see generally Wendel, Mattias, Comparative reasoning and the making of a common constitutional law: EU-related decisions of national constitutional courts in a transnational perspective, 11 Int'l J. Const. L. 981 (2013).Google Scholar

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112 In the case of Denmark and Poland, the Treaties under review had already been ratified. This has to do with the particular procedural conditions for standing.Google Scholar

113 Poland (Accession Treaty).Google Scholar

114 Ireland (SEA in Crotty); Latvia (Lisbon); Poland (Lisbon) and Spain (Constitutional Treaty) and Denmark (Maastricht Treaty). The Danish and Polish cases are somewhat peculiar, since the relevant Treaties had entered into force when the courts rendered their decisions.Google Scholar

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117 The reference of the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal is to Article 4(2) TEU's predecessor in Article I-5 of the Constitutional Treaty and is used to support the holding that the primacy principle in the Constitutional Treaty does not infringe the Constitution. The same is true for the Latvian Court, which read in Article 4(2) TEU a guarantee that the EU would not infringe the statehood and fundamental principles and values of the Latvian Constitution.Google Scholar

118 Article 20 of the Constitution provides that “Powers vested in the authorities of the Realm under this Constitutional Act may, to such extent as shall be provided by statute, be delegated to international authorities set up by mutual agreement with other states for the promotion of international rules of law and cooperation. (2) For the enactment of a Bill dealing with the above, a majority of five-sixths of the members of the Folketing is required. If this majority is not achieved, whereas the majority required for the passing of ordinary Bills is, and if the Government maintains the Bill, it shall be submitted to the electorate for approval or rejection in accordance with the rules on referenda laid down in Article 42.”Google Scholar

119 H&jesteret, Carlsen and Others v. Prime Minister, UfR [1998] 800, reported in English in [1999] 3 Common Market Law Reports 854.Google Scholar

120 Mainly in constitutions adopted shortly after (re-)gaining independence. Examples include Article 5 of the Irish Constitution and Article 1 of Chapter 1 of the Latvian Constitution. Note that independence is not mentioned in the Danish Constitution, but must be presumed. The TEU also starts from the presumption that it is made up of independent States, as is clear from Articles 48, 49 and 50 TEU, Article 4(2) TEU (the EU respects the equality of member states as well as their national identities and their essential State functions), from the principle of conferral, Article 10, and so forth. Independence and statehood are not mentioned in so many words in the German Basic Law.Google Scholar

121 H&jesteret, decision of 20 February 2013, Hausgaard and Others v. Prime Minister, [2013] UfR 1451, available at Scholar

122 Olsen, Henrik Palmer, The Danish Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of Denmark's ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, 50 Common Mkt. L. Rev. 1489 (2013) (“Denmark might be among the more skeptic EU members, and this may be reflected in the Courts decision, but the Danish Supreme Court is not known for making watershed decisions, preferring instead a low profile for itself.”). However, Helle Krunke thinks that Danish courts will act as guardians to ensure that the EU institutions interpret the Lisbon Treaty within the limits of the powers delegated to them by Denmark. According to her, this decision opens the door wide for litigation on EU acts, and Danish citizens are more or less invited to file lawsuits against the State challenging aspects of the constitutionality of the Lisbon Treaty. Helle Krunke, The Danish Lisbon judgment Danish Supreme Court, Case 199/2012, Judgment of 20 February 2013, 10 European Constitutional Law Review (EuConst) 542 (2014).Google Scholar

123 Krunke, , supra note 122.Google Scholar

124 To be sure, Denmark has a number of opt-outs on issues that are sensitive also for the Bundesverfassungsgericht. Google Scholar

125 See Hirschl, Ran, The Nordic counternarrative: Democracy, human development, and judicial review, 9 Int'l J. Const. L. 449 (2011) and other contributions to the same Symposium on Nordic Juristocracy.Google Scholar

126 The CREAA has been enacted as a “separate constitutional act” in order to permit accession to the EU. It has not formally amended the Põhiseadus (Constitution), but has nevertheless substantively amended the entire Constitution. The effects of the CREAA are far reaching: EU law has not only become one of the grounds for the interpretation of the Põhiseadus, but also of its application: only those parts of the Constitution which are in conformity with EU law or which fall outside the scope of EU law are still applicable; the applicability of all the other constitutional provisions is suspended. On the basis of the CREAA, EU law is assimilated with Estonian constitutional law and (temporarily) sets aside any constitutional provision which is incompatible with it; it can also be argued that the CREAA gives EU law primacy (of application) on the Põhiseadus. See Laffranque, Julia, A Glance at the Estonian Legal Landscape in View of the Constitution Amendment Act, Juridica Int'l 55 (2007/XII); Julia Laffranque, The Constitution of Estonia and Estonia's accession to the European Union, 1 Baltic Y.B. Int'l L. Online (2011); Raul Narits, About the Principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia from the Perspective of Independent Statehood in Estonia, Juridica Int'l 58 (2009/XVI).Google Scholar

127 Ginter, Carri, Constitutionality of the European Stability Mechanism in Estonia: Applying Proportionality to Sovereignty, 9 EuConst 335, 340 (2013).Google Scholar

128 Narits, , supra note 126, at 62; see also Tanel Kerikmae & Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, Karlsruhe v. Lisbon An Overture to a Constitutional Dialogue from an Estonian Perspective, 12 Eur. J. L. Ref. 373, 384–85 (2010); Heinrich Schneider, Constitution in a Blast of Changes, Juridica Int'l 4, 11 (2007/XII).Google Scholar

129 Narits, , supra note 126, at 62.Google Scholar

130 Ivo Pilving (Tallinn Circuit Court) & Villem Lapimaa (Tallinn Administrative Court), Annual meeting of administrative judges, Beaulieu-sur-mer, (March 10-11, 2006) Estonian report, under A, available at Scholar

131 “In a court proceeding, the court shall not apply any law or other legislation that is in conflict with the Constitution. The Supreme Court shall declare invalid any law or other legislation that is in conflict with the provisions and spirit of the Constitution.” Põhiseadus Art. 152.Google Scholar

132 Opinion 3-4-1-3-06 of the Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court of 11 May 2006, para. 16.Google Scholar

133 Opinion. 3-4-1-5-08 of the Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court of, 26 June 2008, para. 29-31.Google Scholar

134 Pilving, & Lapimaa, , supra note 130, under A (emphasis added).Google Scholar

135 Conseil constitutionnel [CC] [Constitutional Council] decision no. 2006–540DC, July 27, 2006 (Loi relative au droit d'auteur et aux droits voisins dans la société de l'information in Conseil constitutionnel); Conseil constitutionnel [CC] [Constitutional Council] decision no. 2011–631DC, June 9, 2011 (Loi relative à l'immigration, à l'intégration et à la nationalité). In fact, the Bundesverfassungsgericht cites only paragraph 19 of Decision no. 2006–540DC of 27 July 2006; paragraph 35 of Decision no. 2011–631DC, which it also cites is identical to paragraphs 19 and 20 of Decision no. 2006–540DC of 27 July 2006.Google Scholar

136 O. Dutheillet de Lamothe, Le contrôle de conventionnalité (intervention lors de la visite à la Cour constitutionnelle italienne le 9 mai 2008), available at Scholar

137 On the difference between the French and German concepts, see Reestman, Jan-Herman, The Franco-German Constitutional Divide. Reflections on National and Constitutional Identity, 5 EuConst 374 (2009).Google Scholar

138 The current president of the Constitutional Council, Jean-Louis Debré, wrote on the notion of French constitutional identity that “le Conseil constitutionnel s'est toujours bien gardé d'en définer précisément le contenu.” Millet, supra note 83, at xii.Google Scholar

139 Conseil constitutionnel [CC] [Constitutional Council] decision no. 2004–498DC, July 29, 2004, paras. 4–7. According to the “official” Commentaire in Les Cahiers du Conseil constitutionnel nos. 17, 29, “Les seules normes constitutionnelles opposables à la transposition d'une directive communautaire sont les dispositions expresses de la Constitution française et propres à cette dernière.”Google Scholar

140 See also Mathieu, Bertrand, Les rapports normatifs entre le droit communautaire et le droit national. Bilan et incertitudes relatifs aux évolutions récentes de la jurisprudence des juges constitutionnel et administratif français, Revue française de droit constitutionnel 675 (2007/4); Thierry S. Renoux & Michel de Villiers, Code constitutionnel 2011 870 (2011); the “official” comment on the decisions of 10 June 2004 and 29 July 2004, supra note 139, at 17, 2829.Google Scholar

141 Camby, Jean Pierre, Le Conseil constitutionnel, L'Europe, son droit et ses juges, Revue de droit public 1216, 1222–23 (2009/4); Chloé Charpy, The Status of (Secondary) Community Law in the French Internal Order: the Recent Case-Law of the Conseil constitutionnel and the Conseil d'Etat, 3 EuConst 436, 445–46 (2007).Google Scholar

142 This is probably even the case with Article 89(5) Constitution. Although the constituent power has to respect the provision (as long as it exists), the Conseil constitutionnel has also indicated that the constituent power is sovereign and thus competent to amend or repeal the provision as it sees fit, if it wants to even implicitly; Conseil constitutionnel [CC] [Constitutional Council] decision no. 92–312DC, Sept. 2, 1992, para. 19.Google Scholar

143 Conseil constitutionnel [CC] [Constitutional Council] decision no. 2003-469DC, March 26, 2003, paras. 2–3 (concerning a constitutional amendment adopted by the Congrès). In earlier case law the Conseil constitutionnel had already made clear that it has no power to rule on texts adopted by the people in a referendum, Conseil constitutionnel [CC] [Constitutional Council] decision no. 62-20DC, Nov. 6, 1962; Conseil constitutionnel [CC] [Constitutional Council] decision no. 92-313DC, Sept. 23, 1993.Google Scholar

144 BVerfG, Case No. 2 BvR 2728/13 at para. 29.Google Scholar

145 See on that case, François-Xavier Millet, How much lenience for how much cooperation? On the first preliminary reference of the French Constitutional Council to the Court of Justice, 51 Common Mkt. L. Rev. 195 (2014).Google Scholar

146 Re Article 26 and the Information (Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 1995, [1995] 1 I.R. 1.Google Scholar

147 “Nothing in the Treaty on the European Union or in the Treaties establishing the European Communities or in the Treaties or Acts modifying or supplementing those Treaties shall affect the application in Ireland of Article 40.3.3° of the Constitution of Ireland.” In June 2009, after the failed referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council adopted a Decision on the concerns of the Irish people on the TEU, giving a legal guarantee that certain matters of concern to the Irish people would be unaffected by the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. The Protocol on the concerns of the Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon, relating to right to life, family and education, taxation and security and defense was added to the TEU at the occasion of Croatian accession.Google Scholar

148 Corte costituzionale (Constituional Court), 27 December 1973, n. 183/1973 (Frontini).Google Scholar

149 In addition to decision no. 170/1984 of 8 June 1984 (Granital) where the Italian Court finally endorsed the mandate of the ordinary courts under EU law and permitted the disapplication of conflicting norms of national law without its prior intervention in a preliminary reference on constitutionality.Google Scholar

150 Corte costituzionale (Constitutional Court), 21 April 1989, n. 232/1989 (FRAGD) (discussed by G. Gaja, New developments in a continuing story: the relationship between EEC law and Italian law, 27 Common Mkt. L. Rev. 83 (1990); HG Schermers, The scales in balance: national constitutional court v Court of Justice, 27 CMLRev. 97 (1990)).Google Scholar

151 Four years later however, the Constitutional Court reversed that declaration and ordered a general court to make a preliminary reference since the Constitutional Court did not regard itself as a court in sense of Article 234(3) of the Treaty. Today, the Corte costituzionale does refer questions for preliminary ruling to the ECJ, see Corte costituzionale (Constitutional Court), 11 May 2008, n. 103/2008; Corte costituzionale (Constitutional Court), 3 July 2013, n. 207/2013.Google Scholar

152 Trybunał Konstytucyjny, decision K 18/04 of 11 May 2005 (Accession Treaty); decision K 32/09 of 24 November 2010 (Lisbon Treaty) (the cases were brought after the entry into force of the Treaty); decision SK 45/09 of 16 November 2011 (Brussels Regulation) (Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters).Google Scholar

153 See generally Kowalik-Bańczyk, K., Should We Polish It Up? The Polish Constitutional Tribunal and the Idea of Supremacy of EU Law, German L.J. 1357 (2005).Google Scholar

154 The reference is to n. 2.1. et seq., i.e. about forty pages of the decision.Google Scholar

155 Excluded from conferral are: decisions specifying the fundamental principles of the Constitution and decisions concerning the rights of the individual which determine the identity of the state, including, in particular, the requirement of protection of human dignity and constitutional rights, the principle of statehood, the principle of democratic governance, the principle of a state ruled by law, the principle of social justice, the principle of subsidiarity, as well as the requirement of ensuring better implementation of constitutional values and the prohibition to confer the power to amend the Constitution and the competence to determine competences.Google Scholar

156 Para 2.1. in fine.Google Scholar

157 Para 2.6.Google Scholar

158 Para 3.8.Google Scholar

159 With a touch of malignance one could say that the BVerfG refers to itself (speaking through the Polish Trybunał).Google Scholar

160 Compare Sayn-Wittgenstein, Case C-208/09 with Runević-Vardyn, Case C-391/09.Google Scholar

161 SOU 2008: 125/153, 492.Google Scholar

162 SOU 2008: 125/153, 494.Google Scholar

163 Id. at 500.Google Scholar

164 See, e.g., Bull, Thomas, Judges without a Court—Judicial Preview in Sweden, in The Legal Protection of Human Rights: Skeptical Essays (Tom Campbell, KD Ewing & Adam Tomkins eds., 2011); Carl Lebeck's, Sweden, in The National Judicial Treatment of the ECHR and EU Laws - A Comparative Constitutional Perspective (Giuseppe Martinico & Oreste Pollicino eds., 2010).Google Scholar

165 While the Constitutional Treaty never entered into force, the conception of the relations between the EU and its member states developed therein remain valid, as is evident from the Tribunal's final decision in Tribunal Constitucional, Feb. 13, 2014 (DTC 26/2014) (Melloni).Google Scholar

166 Tribunal Constitucional, Dec. 13, 2004 (DTC 1/2004, ground 2) (Constitutional Treaty).Google Scholar

167 Tribunal Constitucional, Dec. 13, 2004 (DTC 1/2004, ground 3) (Constitutional Treaty).Google Scholar

168 Tribunal Constitucional“ Dec. 13, 2004 (DTC 1/2004, ground 2) (Constitutional Treaty).Google Scholar

169 Tribunal Constitucional, Dec. 13, 2004 (DTC 1/2004, ground 4) (Constitutional Treaty).Google Scholar

170 Tribunal Constitucional, Feb. 13, 2014 (DTC 26/2014) (Melloni) (decision handed after the OMT reference of the Bundesverfassungsgericht); on this decision, see Perez, Aida Torres, Melloni in Three Acts: From Dialogue to Monologue, 10 EuConst 308 (2014).Google Scholar

171 See also Vyhnánek, Ladislav, The Eternity Clause in the Czech Constitution as Limit to European Integration. Much Ado About Nothing?, 9 Int'l Const. L. J. 240 (2015).Google Scholar

172 On the decision and its context, see Bobek, Michal, Landtová, Holubec, and the Problem of an Uncooperative Court: Implications for the Preliminary Rulings Procedure, 10 EuConst 54 (2014); Jan Komarek, Czech Constitutional Court Playing with Matches: the Czech Constitutional Court Declares a Judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU Ultra Vires; Judgment of 31 January 2012, Pl. ÚS 5/12, Slovak Pensions XVII, 8 EuConst 323 (2012). Very few commentators—except perhaps for the president of the German Bundesverfassungsericht— have commented positively on the decision. See Andreas Vosskule, Bewahrung und Erneuerung des Nationalstaats im Lichte der Europäischen Einigung, speech held at the Hessischen Landtag in Wiesbaden (Mar. 1, 2012).Google Scholar

173 Ústavní soud České republiky 26.11.2008 (ÚS) [decision of the Constitutional Court of Nov. 26, 2008] ÚS 19/08 [hereinafter Lisbon I]; Ústavní soud České republiky 3.11.2009 (ÚS) [decision of the Constitutional Court of Nov. 3, 2009] ÚS 29/09 [hereinafter Lisbon II].Google Scholar

174 It concluded, “In a situation where the ECJ was aware that the Czech Republic, as a party to the proceeding, in whose name the government acted, expressed in its statement a negative position on the legal opinion of the Constitutional Court, which was the subject matter for evaluation, the ECJ' statement that the Constitutional Court was a ‘third party’ in the case at hand cannot be seen otherwise than as abandoning the principle audiatur et altera pars.”Google Scholar

175 Ústavní soud České republiky 8.3.2006 (ÚS) [decision of the Constitutional Court of Mar. 8, 2006] ÚS 50/04 (Sugar Quotas).Google Scholar

176 Lisbon II at paras. 111–13.Google Scholar

177 See also Vyhnánek, supra note 171.Google Scholar

178 “That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.”Google Scholar

179 For the importance of the decision for the general UK constitutional landscape, see Elliot, Mark, Constitutional legislation, European Union Law and the nature of the United Kingdom's contemporary constitution, 10 EuConst 379 (2104).Google Scholar

180 On the application of Buckinghamshire County Council and others v. The Secretary of State for Transport, [2014] U.K.S.C. 3, para. 110.Google Scholar

181 Id. at para. 207.Google Scholar

182 Pham v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2015] U.K.S.C. 19, paras. 90–91.Google Scholar

183 See more extensively Besselink, Claes, Imamović, Reestman, supra note 106.Google Scholar

184 Holoubek, Michael, Austrian National Report for the XVI Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts 1, Scholar

185 Report of the Constitutional Court to the XVI Congress for the Conference of European Constitutional Courts 1– 2, Scholar

186 Kapotas, Panos, Greek Council of State, Judgment 3470/2011, 10 EuConst 162 (2014).Google Scholar

187 Päivi Leino and Janne Salminen, The Euro Crisis and Its Constitutional Consequences for Finland: Is There Room for National Politics in EU Decision-Making?, 9 EuConst 451, 459–60 (2013).Google Scholar

188 Tribunal Constitucional (Portugal) ruling No. 353/12, 5 July 2012; see also Canotilho, Mariana, Violante, Teresa and Lanceiro, Rui, Austerity measures under judicial scrutiny: the Portuguese constitutional case law, 11 EuConst (2015) (forthcoming).Google Scholar

189 Art. 8(4) states, “The provisions of the treaties that govern the European Union and the rules issued by its institutions in the exercise of their respective responsibilities shall apply in Portuguese internal law in accordance with Union law and with respect for the fundamental principles of a democratic state based on the rule of law.” Article 277(2) provides, “The organic or formal unconstitutionality of international treaties that have been regularly ratified do not prevent the application of their provisions in Portuguese law as long as the provisions are applied in the law of the other party, except if the said unconstitutionality results from the violation of a fundamental principle.”Google Scholar

190 See Grabenwarter, Christophe, The Co-operation of Constitutional Courts in Europe – Current Situation and Perspectives, in General Report and Outline of Main Issues for the XVIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts 8.Google Scholar

191 Opinion of Advocate General Cruz Villalón, supra note 5, at para 61.Google Scholar

192 Id. at para. 59.Google Scholar

193 Id. at para. 60.Google Scholar

194 Lisbon at para. 340.Google Scholar

195 Including Italy, whose Corte costituzionale the BVerfG has ranked among the league of like-minded courts.Google Scholar

196 Opinion of Advocate General Cruz Villalón, supra note 5, at para. 36.Google Scholar

197 The word “sincere” is repeated 9 times in the Opinion. The AG also suggested that there was a risk that the preliminary reference procedure was being “manipulated.”Google Scholar

198 Gauweiler, Case C-62/14 at para. 16.Google Scholar

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