Building bridges of trust between national constitutional courts and the Court of Justice in the context of protection of national identities

Seeing the importance of national identities in the European constitution, this paper will explore avenues of building trust between constitutional courts and the Court of Justice in the context of protection of national identities. Which principles, techniques of interpretation and/or judicial behaviors may be useful in ensuring the necessary level of trust between these two levels of courts? Three initial avenues will be explored in the paper: firstly, judicial deference by the Court of Justice in defining the content of national identity; secondly, identification of common denominators in the protection of sensitive interests – to what extent national identities can be protected under the category of common constitutional traditions?; thirdly, a proportionality analysis based on the margin of appreciation doctrine as often used by the Court of Justice in the context of EU internal market law.