24 Jun 25 Jun

Conference: National constitutional identity 10 years on

At the same time as it introduced the European (Political) Union and two intergovernmental pillars, the Maastricht Treaty also explicitly underlined, for the first time, that ‘[t]he Union shall respect the national identities of its Member States’ (art. 6-3 TEU). The concept of ‘constitutional identity’ subsequently became increasingly used by (some) constitutional courts too. Following the same trend, the Lisbon Treaty further enhanced the importance of the respect of Member States’ national identities by the EU, and its article 4-2 TEU now refers to the need for the Union to 'respect their national identities inherent in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional, inclusive of regional and local self-government.'
Against this background, this event aims to offer a reflection on the use of the National constitutional identity clause ten years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. To this end, it proposes a new evaluation of this concept, as well as a new analysis of its functions.

Conveners: Monica Claes, Bruno de Witte, Diane Fromage

Preliminary programma

Printable programme

Monday 24 June 2019 

13:30-13:50 Welcome coffee and registration
13:50-14:00 Opening of the Conference
by Monica Claes, Bruno de Witte and Diane Fromage
14:00-15:15 Panel 1 Conceptual aspects (1)
Chair: Anne-Pieter van der Mei, Maastricht University
- From Sovereignty to Constitutional Identity in the European Legal Space by François-Xavier Millet, Court of Justice of the European Union
From National to Constitutional identity: the evolution of art. 4 TEU by Pietro Faraguna, University of Trieste
Discussant:  Matteo Bonelli, State University of Milan
15:15-15:30 Coffee break

Panel 2 Conceptual aspects (2)
Chair: Marionlina Eliantonio, Maastricht University
Art. 4 TEU and its different components: identity, equality and essential state functions by Giuseppe Martinico, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
Article 4 TUE and the regional dimension by Diane Fromage, Maastricht University
Discussant:  François-Xavier Millet, Court of Justice of the European Union

19:00 Dinner for invited guests

Tuesday 25 June 2019

09:15-10:45 Constitutional identity and its functions
Chair: Hildegard Schneider, Maastricht University 
- National identity and EU integration beyond "limited fields” by Matteo Bonelli, State University of Milan
Protecting identity or protecting diversity? by Bruno de Witte, Maastricht University
Discussant: Jan-Herman Reestman, University of Amsterdam
10:45-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-12:15 Constitutional identity and its functions
Chair: Ellen Vos, Maastricht University 
- Use and abuse of identity by Monica Claes, Maastricht University
Reflections on National constitutional identity 10 years after Lisbon by Leonard Besselink, University of Amsterdam
12:15-12:30 Concluding remarks
By Monica Claes, Bruno de Witte, Diane Fromage, Maastricht University
12:30-13:30 Lunch



Maastricht University
Faculty of Law
24th June, Room number C1.306
25th June, Statenzaal
Bouillonstraat 1-3
6211 LH Maastricht

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