The Lisbon Treaty brought about a reform of the ‘identity clause’ now contained in Article 4(2) Treaty on European Union (TEU). Among other things, it introduced a specific reference to the local and regional dimension of Member States’ national identities. This article assesses what this new provision implies and how it was used by courts during the first decade following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. This allows conducting a general reflection on the role and standing of regions within the EU under that Treaty. This article claims that, on the one hand, the specific mention of the local and regional dimension was already inherent to Member States’ national identity and that, therefore, it has not resulted in any dramatic change in the standing of sub-national entities, as is also visible in the case law to date. On the other hand, it underlines the EU’s ambivalent attitude towards sub-national entities, and national institutional structures generally, and calls for the implementation of pragmatic solutions to improve the functioning of the EU’s multilevel governance structure.