The Challenges of the “Ever Closer Union” Concept and the Protection of the Sovereignty and Constitutional Identity of EU Member States

The Role of National Constitutional Courts and the EU Court of Justice in the Post-Westphalian Order of the Union

  • Tanja Karakamisheva-Jovanovska Full Professor, Department of Constitutional Law, Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law, Sc. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia; Former Member of the Venice Commission as representative of Macedonia
Keywords: sovereignty, constitutional identity, constitutional court, Court of Justice of the EU, subsidiarity, democracy


The concept of an “ever closer Union” has been central to the European project since the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Initially focused on unity among European peoples, subsequent treaties have nuanced this idea, emphasising open and citizen-centric decision-making. This paper explores the evolving dynamics within the European Union, especially regarding the marginalisation of the European Parliament, recurring financial crises, and challenges in freedom, security, and justice. Recent geopolitical events, such as the war in Ukraine, intensified migration, and terrorist attacks within the EU, have catalysed these conflicts, prompting a renewed emphasis on national sovereignty. Against this backdrop, the paper analyses the shifts in the EU’s constitutional framework, considering the Treaty of Amsterdam's addition of transparency and proximity to citizens. The Treaty of Lisbon reaffirmed the commitment to an “ever closer Union,” aligning decisions with citizen concerns. However, crises, particularly those triggered by external events, have led to a re-evaluation of these principles. The paper contends that the EU’s responses to crises have revealed tensions between supranational integration and member states’ desire to safeguard national interests. As the Union navigates these complexities, understanding the evolving role of institutions like the European Parliament becomes crucial. By examining the interplay of sovereignty, crisis response, and institutional dynamics, this paper contributes to the broader discourse on the future trajectory of the European Union.


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How to Cite
Karakamisheva-JovanovskaT. (2023). The Challenges of the “Ever Closer Union” Concept and the Protection of the Sovereignty and Constitutional Identity of EU Member States : The Role of National Constitutional Courts and the EU Court of Justice in the Post-Westphalian Order of the Union. Central European Journal of Comparative Law, 4(2), 69-94.