Reference : Art. 50 TEU: A Well-Designed Secession Clause
Scientific journals : Article
Law, criminology & political science : European & international law
Law / European Law
Art. 50 TEU: A Well-Designed Secession Clause
Gatti, Mauro mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Law Research Unit >]
European Papers
[en] Brexit ; unilateral ; withdrawal
[en] Art. 50 TEU has been criticised because it allegedly grants EU Member States an unfettered right to unilateral secession, which questions the EU’s quasi-federal character and fosters its disintegration. This On the Agenda demonstrates that this widespread pessimism is unjustified, since it is based on an exceedingly formalistic reading of the law. Secession (from States) and withdrawal (from international organisations) is always possible de facto: the relevant question is whether constitutional provisions ensure an orderly secession and discourage casual recourse thereto. Art. 50 TEU arguably constitutes a “well-designed secession clause”, since it ensures the EU’s unity in withdrawal negotiations, limits the discretion of the departing State regarding the activation and termination of the withdrawal procedure, and induces it to reach a compromise with the Union. Art. 50 thus ensures a fair balance between the concern for the EU’s integrity and the democratic and federal principles that inspire it.

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