In recent years, government officials in Hungary, Poland and Austria have contested the authority of the EU in areas linked to core state powers, such as democracy and the rule of law and migrations. Analyzing the discursive strategies displayed by conservative and/or right-wing governments in these countries, the article shows how the old conflict line over sovereignty that has traditionally shaped the integration process – supranational vs domestic sovereignty – is being complemented by a new discourse which consists in disparaging EU ‘interference’ in the very name of European values and a common European identity, defined in opposition to multiculturalism and political liberalism. Pioneered by Viktor Orban, this discourse has been circulating among other Central European heads of government and incumbent parties’ officials in the wake of the refugee ‘crisis’, which opened up a discursive opportunity structure for its diffusion.