Mutual Trust in the EU Legal Order

This paper explores the concept of mutual trust in the EU legal system. It considers the philosophical roots and the judicial understanding of this concept. Mutual trust is crucial to the coherence of the EU legal order since it allows the mutual recognition of judgments and thus strengthens integration.
European integration has succeeded since it has fostered trust among the Member States. However, the recent accession of states with diverging perspectives on integration has hampered mutual trust and triggered a ‘rule of law crisis’. This enlargement of the EU investigates if mutual trust can arise genuinely in broad and heterogeneous whole.
This paper first traces the evolution of the meaning of mutual trust in the EU legal order. Then, it assesses theories of trust and inquires if mutual trust can exist in the EU in its current size. Finally, it assesses how institutional trust can be restored through the fostering of mutual trust in order to solve the current ‘rule of law crisis’.