The “rule of law crisis” and the existential jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Of the limits and promises of a courtroom

What came to be generically known as “the rule of law crisis” in the European Union has led the Court of Justice to add a new chapter to its own jurisprudential tradition. Since 2017, the Court, by relying on the constitutional mandate conferred on it in art. 19 TEU has been laying foundations for a jurisprudential paradigm shift. This analysis introduces a novel term: “existential jurisprudence”. Jurisprudence is called “existential” because the EU institutions are called on to stand for the EU legality. In times of clashing constitutional doctrines and narratives, the EU legality demands fidelity and existential jurisprudence responds to the call. It is based on the subtle dialectics between institutional self-defence and upholding integrity of the legal order. As the existential jurisprudence recognises this systemic function of the supranational court and brings to the surface step by step the components of the European rule of law, the journey has only started.