Table of Contents: I. Clear occasions. – II. Confirmation and advancement of rule of law value-dogmatics. – II.1. Voluntariness of accession, pre-legal normativity of values. – II.2. Updating the dogmatic of self-assertion under the rule of law. – II.3. Conclusion: working with protection obligations while restraining from intervening in the constitutional conflict. – III. Reconceptualizing unrestricted primacy. – III.1. The traditional basis. – III.2. First addition: elements of international law to strengthen primacy? – III.3. Second addition: equality through primacy, subordination through self-obligation. – III.4. Conclusion: “normed” primacy as a result of selective listening. – IV. Conclusion: Union law’s identity between dialogical crisis containment and constitutional monologue.
Abstract: The Grand Chamber’s judgment of 21 December 2021 on rule of law deficits in Romania underlines the vulnerability of the Union’s legal order. The facts of the case vividly demonstrate once again that its weak spot is spread across the national judicial systems of the Member States. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) opposes the developments by further strengthening the values while underlining special obligations Romania entered into upon accession. Of central importance beyond that are the Court’s first additions to the long standing reasoning on Union Law’s unrestricted primacy. The argumentation resembles a closing figure which is supposed to resolve the irreconcilable claims of final authority in favour of Union law. The attempt turns out to be unconvincing because the constitutional foundations of the integration process and its plurality of actors are selectively ignored.
Keywords: rule of law crisis – value constitutionalism – primacy of European Union Law – constitutional reservations – Euro Box Promotion and Others – Romania.
* Research assistant, Georg-August-University Göttingen, firstname.lastname@example.org.