Interpreting Article 50: Exit and Voice And…What About Loyalty?
Forthcoming, Closa, C. (ed.) Troubled membership: withdrawal from the EU and secession from a member state (Cambridge University Press, 2017)
26 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 2016
Article 50 has explicitly formalized the exit option that previously existed in an implicit form. The provision entitles to an unilateral, unconditional but not immediate withdrawal from the European Union which renders relatively easy in procedural terms to trigger the process. Several utilitarian reasons explain why a member state may wish to leave an organization such as the EU although in the case of the UK 2016 referendum none of them seem to have played a major role. Building on this background and Joseph Weiler’s 1999 seminal contribution on the transformation of Europe, this paper argues that the formalization of the withdrawal provision undermines loyalty (understood as the proclivity to resolve losses of organizational efficiency within the organization) which is at the very basis of the EU project.
Keywords: Article 50, withdrawal from the EU, Brexit, exit voice and loyalty
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