Anyone who has read the Treaty instituting the European Community has noticed that member states are allowed to prevent the application of European Community law by arguing that the rule at stake contradicts their public policy or public order. Although these provisions – mainly in the ambit of the internal market rules, which is the focus of this article – have remained unchanged since 1957, the European Court of Justice case law, and later secondary law, shows that the member states are closely controlled in the use they make of their public policy. The purpose of this article is to verify whether in practice anything remains of that exception, knowing that the court and secondary law have not only defined the content of what might constitute a member state’s public policy but also its concrete process of application.