I Saggi dell'Osservatorio

L’ordre constitutionnel français et l’ordre constitutionnel UE. Guerre des constitutions, guerre des juges ?

di Franck Lafaille

SOMMARIO: 1. Prolégomènes. UE et révisionnisme constitutionnel. – 2. Le refus du Conseil constitutionnel de con-trôler la conventionnalité des lois. – 3. De la spécificité du droit de l’UE, en droit UE et en droit français. – 4. La supériorité de la Constitution…dans l’ordre interne. – 5. L’obligation constitutionnelle de trans-position des directives (1) : l’octroi d’un régime abnorme aux directives UE. – 6. L’obligation constitu-tionnelle de transposition des directives (2) : l’identité constitutionnelle de la France. – 7. Transposition des directives UE et supériorité de la Constitution : à propos de la jurisprudence Arcelor du Conseil d’Etat. – 8. QPC, supériorité de la Constitution, supériorité du droit UE : à propos de la jurisprudence Melki. – 9. Epilogue. A propos d’une trilogie identitaire constitutionnelle : trois ordres juridiques, trois constitutions matérielles, trois juges constitutionnels.


The political will to foster European integration led to the adoption of European acts that required constitutional modifications of the French Constitution. Since 1992 several modifications of our fundamental law were adopted. The Conseil constitutionnel played a central role in this process: it represents the authority to indicate if it is necessary - or not - to change the Constitution. At first reluctant to judge the normative relationship between constitutional norms and EU norms, the Conseil recently decided to innovate. In this sense, the “discovery” of the French Constitutional Identity was a crucial judicial moment: the Conseil constitutionnel ruled both that transposition of UE directives is a constitutional obligation, and that EU law can’t affect the French Constitutional Identity (whose material substance is not clearly identified). Thus, two different kinds of constitutional law seem to coexist in France: one acting as a barrier to EU law (as, mutatis mutandis, the Italian “principi supreme”) and thus superior to EU law, and a second one that can’t be a limit EU law. At last, the French constitutional actors seem to understand that they can’t dodge this issue: the normative supremacy of the EU material Constitution and the judicial supremacy of the European Court of Justice. How to find a legal compromise when two norms and two judges pretend to prevail? The French judges’ implicit answer is logical and hypocritical: there is no con-flict thanks to the theory of equivalency of values.

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