The Meta-National Dimension of Solidarity in EU Law: On the Impact of the EU Cohesion Policies on the 'Form of Union'
Sant'Anna Legal Studies (STALS) Research Paper Series, 1/2013
85 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2013 Last revised: 15 Jul 2013
Date Written: February 19, 2013
The goal of this work is to study the implications of the EU cohesion policies from a constitutional-comparative perspective.
In this paper I shall deal with, among others, the following research questions:
• What does solidarity mean in a context, like the EU, which is not provided by a cultural homogeneous substratum? • Can we compare the EU with other legal contexts in this respect? • Can we conceive EU cohesion policies as a part of the European supranational social model? • What is the impact of the EU cohesion policies on the relationship between centre (the EU) and periphery (regions)?
As for the structure of this work, I will proceed as follows: firstly I shall introduce my understanding of solidarity in EU law, treating it as one of the constitutional principles of EU law. Secondly, I will present EU cohesion policies as an expression of this solidarity principle and as a part of the European Social Model.
In order to do so in Section II I shall reconstruct the legal basis of the European Social Model and the EU cohesion policies.
Finally, I shall investigate the impact of these kinds of policies on the relationship between periphery and centre (understood as the “form of union” in this work) in the EU.
The main intuition behind this work can be summarised as follows: regions have been traditionally neglected by EU treaties (the famous principle of the “territorial blindness” of the EU) in spite of their importance for the functioning of the EU.
Against this background, my hypothesis is that the EU cohesion policies may have a role in contributing to overcome the EU territorial blindness, leading to an improvement of the constitutional status (i.e. emergence of a set of “rights” and “duties”) of those constitutional actors.
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