Harmonized EU Standards and Constitutional Identities

The EU fundamental rights operate in a multileveled and intertwined equilibrium. Notwithstanding its pluralistic composite, the traditional doctrine is still widely based on the perception that full harmonization is a desirable and feasible approach. The paper identifies the inevitable contradiction of such understanding with the very nature of its sources, various standards and the necessary reflection on constitutional identities. Hence, it concludes that only a necessary “safety net” may be achieved or aspired to. In addition, the paper then critically scrutinizes the minimum standard of protection. While aspiring to pluralistic, decentralised and context-specific understandings, this alternative considerably contributes to different dilemma. It seriously undermines the unity and effectiveness of the EU law, creates a composite structure with ambiguous combinations of varying national and supranational standards and it opens up the Pandora's box for potential national abuses.