Restoring Faith in EU Values: Mutual Trust and Systemic Deficiencies in the Member States

Iris Canor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the evolving context of European Union public law, mutual trust has risen as a pivotal structural principle, anchoring the horizontal relationship among EU Member States, particularly in areas falling outside the scope of application of EU law. Its significance has expanded, moving beyond just safeguarding fundamental rights to fully embracing the broad spectrum of values articulated in Article 2 TEU. In-formed by the mutual accountability of Member States, this principle is instrumental in assessing their commitment to the values delineated in Article 2 TEU. This article offers to differentiate between two scenarios: instances where mutual trust is undermined by violations of fundamental rights, and those where it is challenged by breaches of structural values, such as democracy and the rule of law. The article posits that systemic deficiencies in a Member State’s adherence to the EU’s structural values threatens the essence of mutual trust, demanding a reconsideration of the manner of application of this principle. Through the lens of the transformations following the Lisbon Treaty and contemporary hurdles this article underscores mutual trust’s crucial role in ensuring Member States’ constitutional fidelity to EU structural values. The article concludes by championing a nuanced application of the mutual trust principle – a stance that robustly preserves the core of Article 2 val-ues, quintessential to European identity, without compromising fundamental rights or overlooking other EU public interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-538
Number of pages23
JournalZeitschrift fur Europarechtliche Studien
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH und Co KG. All rights reserved.


  • Article 2 TEU
  • Democracy
  • EU Structural Principles
  • EU Values
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Horizontal Cooperation
  • Mutual Trust
  • Rule of Law
  • Systemic Deficiencies


Dive into the research topics of 'Restoring Faith in EU Values: Mutual Trust and Systemic Deficiencies in the Member States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this