European Constitutional Identity?

22 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2006

See all articles by Wojciech Sadurski

Wojciech Sadurski

The University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 2006


The language of common European constitutional identity is distinguishable from that of common European constitutional traditions, in that the former does not focus so centrally on the past, and is independent of the legal doctrinal language of the EU law. When discussing constitutional identity, there are, in particular, the following four questions which deserve to be addressed: (1) What are we doing when we are "constructing" the European constitutional identity; what are the features of the interpretation leading to such a construction? (2) What values/ideals/principles are a part of our constitutional identity? (3) How does European constitutional identity relate to the specific constitutional identities of European nation-states? (4) What is the relationship between the discourse about political integration within the EU and the existence of European CI, as separate from, and paramount to, identities of member states? On that last issue it is submitted that there is no simple connection between ascertaining the dominant identity at a particular level and the implications for the division of authority between the European and national levels within the EU.

Keywords: European integration, European Union, identity, constitutional theory, democratic theory, minority protection, constitutional traditions

JEL Classification: K30, K33, K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Sadurski, Wojciech, European Constitutional Identity? (December 2006). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 06/37, Available at SSRN: or

Wojciech Sadurski (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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