Common Constitutional Principles in Europe (6 September 2017)

The panel on Common Constitutional Principles in Europe aimed at discussing a potential ELI Project on the subject. Sir Jeffrey Jowell, Professor Emeritus of public law at University College London, explained that the idea of developing this Project is to create a practical guide for the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and other EU institutions as well as for the EU Member States and those who wish to join the Union about the values that need to be observed and adhered to.

Sabino Cassese, Emeritus Justice of the Italian Constitutional Court and Professor Emeritus at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, discussed what ‘common constitutional principles’ mean and what their purposes are. Mario Comba, Professor of Public Comparative Law at the University of Turin, presented the notion of ‘national identity’ in connection to common constitutional pri nciples. The significance of this potential project was emphasised by Jörg Fedtke, Chair of Common Law at the University of Passau, who also stressed that when analysing constitutional principles and their role, one must remember the fact that the meaning of certain notions changes over time.

Jean Marc Sauvé, Vice-President of the Conseil d’Etat, noted that there are many differences between EU Member States, which might constitute a challenge in identifying common constitutional principles. Ornella Porchia, Professor of EU Law at the University of Turin, further explained the controversies related to establishing which principles could be considered common.