On 30 September, during his working visit to Vienna, President of Latvia Egils Levits presented a lecture at the ceremony of the 102nd anniversary of the Austrian Constitutional Court.
Welcoming the participants, the President of Latvia reminded that the constitutions of Latvia and Austria are the two oldest constitutions still in force in Europe - they are both modern and open to the future.
The President of Latvia went on to address the threats to the democratic state order. The President of Latvia referred to the six fundamental values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights, mentioned in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union, which are common to all EU member states.
"However, the democratic state order is particularly under threat today. The threat can come both from outside, such as aggression against a democratic European country, or from within, especially populism. The most important task of constitutional courts is to protect these fundamental values," explained E. Levits.
In the President's view, the national constitutional court should be the main defender of common values, but in specific cases, if the national constitutional court is not up to the task, the Court of Justice of the European Union does.