Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union: “Seceding” from the European Union

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The withdrawal of the UK from the EU marked the first time that a Member State decided to put an abrupt end to the federalist “sonderweg” of “an ever closer union” pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union which undoubtedly provides for a right to secede from the EU. Article 50’s actual application, however, is rather different from what we are used to at the national level. The right is unilateral and unconditional; its application follows the logic of the European intertwined and composite constitution by requesting respect to the “national constitutional requirements”; while the main aim of its several procedural stages is to lead to an arrangement that would absorb the tensions created by the exercise of such right. This is to be expected from a constitutional order that has a municipal character but remains a voluntary union of sovereign States.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Self-Determination and Secession
EditorsRyan D. Griffths, Aleksandar Pavkovic, Peter Radan
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003036593
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2023

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