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EU Values before the Court of Justice. Foundations, Potential, Risks

About the Project:

The Union’s common values enshrined in Article 2 TEU – democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights – are under pressure in several Member States. Against this backdrop, the Court of Justice has set a remarkable development in motion. In a recent line of cases, starting in 2018 with Associação Sindical dos Juízes Portugueses, the Union's values have taken centre stage. This book argues that the Court’s recourse to Article 2 TEU goes far beyond constitutional pathos: Article 2 TEU has been turned into an operational, judicially applicable provision. In a first step, the book captures this emerging jurisprudence in empirical, doctrinal and theoretical terms. At its heart, the book seeks to advance a conceptual framework for the future, judicial mobilization of Article 2 TEU. In essence, it should be understood as featuring a dual character that resonates between two dimensions: an EU dimension limited to the EU legal order and a Verbund dimension extending to the common “whole” of the Union and its Member States. In its second and third part, the book sets out to explore the multifaceted potential of Article 2 TEU in each of these two dimensions. The fourth and last part will assess the risks of placing an activated Article 2 TEU into the hands of the Luxembourg judges and propose ways to recalibrate this jurisprudence.

Awarded the Wilhelm Bender Dissertation Prize and the Otto Hahn Medal 2023.​​​​​​​

PhD candidate




  • Spieker, Luke Dimitrios: EU Values Before the Court of Justice. Foundations, Potential, Risks. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2023. Oxford Studies in European Law
  • Selected Articles

  • The conflict over the Polish disciplinary regime for judges – An acid test for judicial independence, Union values and the primacy of EU law: Commission v. Poland. In: Common Market Law Review 59, 777-812 (2022). CML Rev. Download article here (PDF, 482.0 KB)
  • Werte, Vorrang, Identität: Der Dreiklang europäischer Justizkonflikte vor dem EuGH. In: Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht 33, 305-313 (2022). EuZW
  • Spieker, Luke Dimitrios: Defending Union Values in Judicial Proceedings. On How to Turn Article 2 TEU into a Judicially Applicable Provision. In: Defending Checks and Balances in EU Member States, Armin von Bogdandy et al. (ed.). Springer, Berlin 2021, 237-268. Springer (Open Access)
  • Spieker, Luke Dimitrios: Werteverteidigung im Binnenmarkt? Das ungarische Transparenzgesetz auf dem Prüfstand des EuGH. In: EuZW 31, 854-858 (2020). EuZW
  • Spieker, Luke Dimitrios: Framing and managing constitutional identity conflicts: On how to stabilize the modus vivendi between the Court of Justice and national constitutional courts. In: Common Market Law Review 57, 361-398 (2020). CML Rev.
  • Spieker, Luke Dimitrios: Breathing Life into the Union’s Common Values: On the Judicial Application of Article 2 TEU in the EU Value Crisis. In: German Law Journal 20, 1182-1213 (2019). GLJ (Open Access)
  • Spieker, Luke Dimitrios, Armin von Bogdandy: Countering the Judicial Silencing of Critics: Article 2 TEU Values, Reverse Solange, and the Responsibilities of National Judges. In: European Constitutional Law Review 15, 391-426 (2019). EuConst (Open Access)
  • Spieker, Luke Dimitrios: From Moral Values to Legal Obligations – On How to Activate the Union’s Common Values in the EU Rule of Law Crisis. MPIL Research Paper No. 24, 2018. SSRN
  • Blogposts

  • Spieker, Luke Dimitrios: The Court gives with one hand and takes away with the other: The CJEU’s judgment in Miasto Łowicz. Verfassungsblog, 26. März 2020. Verfassungsblog
  • Spieker, Luke Dimitrios: Commission v. Poland – A Stepping Stone Towards a Strong “Union of Values”?. Verfassungsblog, 30 May 2019. Verfassungsblog


References to Article 2 TEU & Article 6 TEU-Amsterdam/Nice in the CJEU's case law

Table 1 (PDF, 432.9 KB)

References to "democracy" in the CJEU's case law

Table 2 (PDF, 238.8 KB)

References to the "rule of law" in the CJEU's case law

Table 3 (PDF, 237.0 KB)