National Constitutional Identities in EU Law: A Response to Critics

Despite its much more pronounced and legally bolstered status in the Lisbon Treaty, the concept of national constitutional identity (or some of its use and their potential consequences) have been met with important scholarly criticism. The critiques revolved around a number of aspects of the concept, such as its negative implications for the process of EU legal integration, EU rule of law and equality of the Member States or, more recently, the potential for its abuse by populist or authoritarian governments.
In this paper, I will seek to respond to these critiques and offer some arguments in defense of national constitutional identities and their central role in EU law. In doing so, I will focus on the nature and limits of EU (constitutional?) authority and powers, notably in relation to those of its Member States. More specifically, I will argue that these issues are oftentimes either disregarded or insufficiently addressed by some authors on the other side of the argument.