The paper provides a holistic account of the legal mechanisms that allow the EU to accommodate all three forms of secession that may take place within its borders: internal secession, external secession and withdrawal from the EU itself. Despite conventional wisdom, this paper suggests that, provided that such secessionist processes conform with the foundational values of the Union enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the EU legal order is flexible enough to accommodate them. Such a deferential and accommodating approach that respects the constitutional identity of the EU Member States and their regions is in conformity with the composite nature of the European constitution, whose component parts—the EU Treaties and the national constitutional orders—cannot function without the other. For a multi-level constitutional order of States whose very raison d’être has been the promotion of peace between its members, this nuanced position is of critical importance.
|Virginia Journal of International Law
|Accepted/In press - 5 Aug 2023