Constitutional identity in Italy : European integration as the fulfilment of the Constitution
Title: Constitutional identity in Italy : European integration as the fulfilment of the Constitution
Series/Number: EUI LAW; 2017/06
The paper examines the notion of constitutional identity in Italy, with the aim to question whether the highest constitutional authorities of the Italian state have identified a core or fundamental elements of the Constitution which define its individuality. By analyzing the words and deeds of the President of the Republic and the case law of the Constitutional Court the paper claims that these two supreme constitutional authorities always refused to identify a set of constitutional values which cannot be touched by the European Union (EU). On the contrary, the paper suggests that both the President of the Republic and the Constitutional Court have endeavoured to emphasize the axiological overlap between the Italian Constitution and the project of European integration, considering Italy’s membership to the EU as the best way to fulfil the Constitution’s mandate. As the paper maintains, the same approach is visible in the recent Taricco judgment of the Italian Constitutional Court: while in this reference to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) the Constitutional Court mentioned for the first time ever the words ‘constitutional identity’, its ruling was mostly grounded on the notion of common constitutional traditions. The Constitutional Court invited the ECJ to revisit a previous ruling, emphasizing how that substantially conflicted not only with Italy’s Constitution, but also with the principles enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. As the paper suggests, therefore, the Italian case offers an example of a founding EU member state where no identity narrative has been developed as a defense against the EU.
Subject: Constitutional identity; Italy; President of the Republic; Constitutional Court; ECJ
Type of Access: openAccess