Secessions from EU Member States: The Imperative of Union's Neutrality

29 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2016 Last revised: 10 Mar 2018

Dimitry Kochenov

University of Groningen - Faculty of Law

Martijn van den Brink

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

Date Written: March 12, 2016

Abstract

We argue that EU law and the ethos of European integration, premised on inclusiveness and the taming of the state requires the Union to remain neutral in the context of the permutations of statehood at the national level leading to the emergence of new state entities in Europe. We show that the matter of permutations of statehood is not new or exceptional, unlike what is sometimes claimed, and demonstrate that the EU is not to blame for facilitating the viability of newly-emerging states in Europe, since this is one of the natural bi-products of the very nature of the Union. In this context intervening in national constitutional secession politics and making threats to prevent the newly-emerging states from joining the EU would not only be an ultra vires action for the EU to take. It would also be both counter-productive and deprived of any purpose, which leads us to conclude that EU law should be deployed as inventively as is necessary to ensure continued membership of the EU of the entities seceding from the current Member States.

Keywords: European Union, secession

Suggested Citation

Kochenov, Dimitry and van den Brink, Martijn, Secessions from EU Member States: The Imperative of Union's Neutrality (March 12, 2016). University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper 2016-09; 1 European Papers, 2016, pp. 67–92.; University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper 2016-09; Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2016/06; Europa Working Paper No 2016/04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2746846 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2746846

Dimitry Kochenov (Contact Author)

University of Groningen - Faculty of Law ( email )

Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26
Groningen, 9712 EK
Netherlands

Martijn Van den Brink

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity ( email )

Hermann-Föge-Weg 11
Göttingen, 37073
Germany

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