This chapter focuses on the rule of law as an overarching constitutional foundation of the general principles of EU law. It is argued that although not a general principle itself, the rule of law is taken to encompass the general principles of EU law and thus it constitutes both a unitary and historical desideratum of the EU legal order. While it is accepted that EU law has stretched and even tested the rule of law's historical domestic origins, the rule of law in the EU is concerned with both conduct guidance and formal and substantive rights that can provide protection against arbitrariness and ensure rule-of-law compliance in the EU.
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