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Safeguards of EU Integration? - An Analysis of the Impact of Article 7 TEU and Article 50 TEU on the European Integration Project

Arvidsson, Moa LU (2016) JURM02 20162
Department of Law
Abstract
There has been a surge in nationalism and populism in Europe. As these movements increasingly gain political influence in the Member States, the EU has been affected in several ways. This thesis will examine two of these instances: the alleged rule of law breaches in Poland and the probable fu-ture withdrawal of Britain from the EU. These situations are governed by Article 7 TEU and Article 50 TEU respectively, and their individual as well as mutual impact on the integration of the EU are therefore analysed. Are they capable of safeguarding the European integration project against national constitutional disruptions and populism?
A better understanding of the theoretical and constitutional framework that shapes the EU will enable an... (More)
There has been a surge in nationalism and populism in Europe. As these movements increasingly gain political influence in the Member States, the EU has been affected in several ways. This thesis will examine two of these instances: the alleged rule of law breaches in Poland and the probable fu-ture withdrawal of Britain from the EU. These situations are governed by Article 7 TEU and Article 50 TEU respectively, and their individual as well as mutual impact on the integration of the EU are therefore analysed. Are they capable of safeguarding the European integration project against national constitutional disruptions and populism?
A better understanding of the theoretical and constitutional framework that shapes the EU will enable an analysis of the Articles that takes their legal and political context into account.

The thesis begins with examining the constitutional foundation of the EU through its legal and political development. This shows that the integration project has expanded into covering not only its initial goal of economic integration through the internal market, but broader policy areas. For ex-ample, human rights are now entrenched in EU law through the enactment of the Charter and Article 2 TEU establishes the fundamental values in the EU. In relation to this, the centrality of the rule of law to the functioning of the EU and its integration project must be underlined. Moreover, the politi-cal and legal orders are evaluated from the perspective of theories of inter-governmentalism and supranationalism in order to determine the structure of the European integration. This illustrates an EU with a mix of both in-tergovernmental and supranational aspects in its structure and operations.

It proceeds with an evaluation of the procedures under Article 7 TEU and Article 50 TEU. Article 7, which provides the EU with the power to sanc-tion a Member State in breach of the fundamental values in Article 2 TEU, show two major weaknesses. The first is its high thresholds. The second is the constitutional nature of the act allegedly in breach as well as the fact that its scope is extended to cover situations where the Member State has acted within its exclusive competence. The complementary procedures adopted as pre-Article 7 mechanism are different due to opposing under-standings of monitoring powers over Member States. This backwards de-velopment shows an increased focus on intergovernmental governance in the EU. Article 50, which allows for the unilateral withdrawal of a Member State from the EU, further underlines this. However, after an examination of its terms in respect of the negotiations and subsequent withdrawal agreement, it appears to be shaped to the EU’s advantage. It can therefore be concluded that it incorporates supranational and federal aspects in its structure and operations.

Furthermore, the thesis shows that these Articles, and their effects, are in-terlinked to a certain extent. This is due to their impact on the power rela-tion between the Member States and the EU in terms of national sovereign-ty and the conferral of competences.

Lastly, it is analysed whether Article 7 TEU and Article 50 TEU can safe-guard the European integration. Article 7 TEU, although theoretically equipped with tools to safeguard compliance with the fundamental values in Article 2 TEU, these are not effectively utilised because of the intergov-ernmental and political aspects of its structure. This is problematic, as compliance with the fundamental values in Article 2 TEU are essential to uphold the functioning of the EU. However, it is equally important that the Member States remain in the EU. Although providing for the unilateral withdrawal from the EU, Article 50 TEU has proven to be more than a purely intergovernmental tool for disintegration. Firstly, it is supranational in its operations. Secondly, it can further integration through allowing a let-out for Member States that do not want to cooperate. Combined, these as-pects show the inefficiency of increased intergovernmental governance and the importance of an open discussion of the constitutional basis on which the European integration should be carried forward. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
På senare år har såväl nationalismen som populismen varit på framväxt i Europa. Dessa rörelser har kommit att få ett allt större politiskt inflytande i EU:s medlemsstater, med en påverkan på EU som institution som följd. I denna uppsats undersöks två av de sätt på vilka EU har påverkats av de politiska strömningarna i Europa: det påstådda rättssatsbrottet i Polen samt Storbritanniens potentiella utträde ur EU. Dessa situationer regleras av arti-kel 7 FEU respektive artikel 50 FEU. I uppsatsen analyseras därför nämnda artiklars individuella, gemensamma och ömsesidiga påverkan på integrat-ionen inom EU. Utgör artiklarna ett tillräckligt skydd för det europeiska integrationsprojektet mot nationell konstitutionell populism?

För att... (More)
På senare år har såväl nationalismen som populismen varit på framväxt i Europa. Dessa rörelser har kommit att få ett allt större politiskt inflytande i EU:s medlemsstater, med en påverkan på EU som institution som följd. I denna uppsats undersöks två av de sätt på vilka EU har påverkats av de politiska strömningarna i Europa: det påstådda rättssatsbrottet i Polen samt Storbritanniens potentiella utträde ur EU. Dessa situationer regleras av arti-kel 7 FEU respektive artikel 50 FEU. I uppsatsen analyseras därför nämnda artiklars individuella, gemensamma och ömsesidiga påverkan på integrat-ionen inom EU. Utgör artiklarna ett tillräckligt skydd för det europeiska integrationsprojektet mot nationell konstitutionell populism?

För att analysera bestämmelserna utifrån såväl deras rättsliga som deras politiska kontext krävs en bättre förståelse för det teoretiska och konstitut-ionella ramverk som formar EU.

Uppsatsen inleds med en undersökning av EU:s konstitutionella grund, var-vid hänsyn tas både till dess rättsliga och politiska utveckling. Av under-sökningen framgår att integrationsprojektet har expanderat; från att ur-sprungligen ha haft som målsättning att uppnå ekonomisk integration ge-nom den inre marknaden omfattar det numera flera olika politiska områ-den. Till exempel är de mänskliga rättigheterna förankrade i EU:s lagstift-ning sedan antagandet av Rättighetsstadgan och genom artikel 2 FEU fast-slås även de grundläggande värdena inom EU. I samband härmed under-stryks hur centralt rättsstatsbegreppet är för att EU och dess integrations-projekt ska fungera. För att vidare kunna fastställa hur den europeiska in-tegrationen ser ut, utvärderas de politiska och rättsliga ordningarna utifrån teorierna om mellanstatlighet och överstatlighet. Vid en sådan utvärdering blir det tydligt att EU:s struktur och verksamhet genomsyras av både mel-lanstatliga och överstatliga element.

Uppsatsen fortsätter därefter med en utvärdering av förfarandena enligt artikel 7 FEU och artikel 50 FEU. Artikel 7 FEU, som ger EU befogenheten att införa sanktioner mot medlemsstater som bryter mot de fundamentala värdena som stadgas i artikel 2 FEU, brister i två viktiga avseenden. Det första är artikelns höga tröskel. Det andra är den konstitutionella karaktären av den lag som påstås stå i strid med artikeln, liksom det faktum att arti-kelns räckvidd är utsträckt till att omfatta situationer där medlemsstaten har agerat inom sin exklusiva kompetens. Beroende på att det finns olika upp-fattningar om vilka kontrollbefogenheter EU har över sina medlemsstater, finns det olika förberedande artikel 7-förfaranden som kompletterar varandra. Denna utveckling visar ett ökat fokus på mellanstatlig styrning inom EU. Artikel 50 FEU, som låter medlemsstater ensidigt utträda ur EU, understryker detta ytterligare. Vid en undersökning av artikel 50 och vad densamma föreskriver om förhandling och avtal om utträde ur EU, förefal-ler artikeln emellertid vara utformad till EU:s fördel. Sett till sin struktur och sin funktion kan artikel 50 därför sägas innehålla både överstatliga och federala element.

Dessutom framgår det av uppsatsen att dessa artiklar och deras effekter är sammanlänkade i viss utsträckning. Detta beror på att de påverkar maktre-lationen mellan medlemsstaterna och EU vad avser nationell suveränitet och delegeringen av befogenheter.

Uppsatsen avslutas med en analys som undersöker om artikel 7 FEU och artikel 50 FEU kan skydda den europeiska integrationen. Även om artikel 7 teoretiskt är utrustad med verktyg för att säkerställa efterlevnaden av de grundläggande värdena i artikel 2 FEU, utnyttjas inte verktygen effektivt på grund av mellanstatliga och politiska aspekter och strukturer. Detta är problematiskt, eftersom efterlevnaden av de fundamentala värdena i artikel 2 är avgörande för att upprätthålla EU:s funktion. Det är emellertid likale-des av betydelse att medlemsstaterna förblir en del av unionen. Även om artikel 50 FEU föreskriver ett ensidigt utträde ur EU har artikeln också vi-sat sig vara mer än ett rent mellanstatlig verktyg för desintegration. För det första är den överstatlig till sin karaktär. För det andra kan den främja in-tegrationen genom att tillåta medlemsstater som inte vill samarbeta att lämna unionen. Tillsammans visar dessa aspekter på ineffektiviteten av ökad mellanstatlig styrning och vikten av en öppen diskussion om det kon-stitutionella fundament som ska ligga till grund för den vidare europeiska integrationen. (Less)
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author
Arvidsson, Moa LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20162
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU law, European Integration Project
language
English
id
8898083
date added to LUP
2017-01-27 21:48:33
date last changed
2017-01-27 21:48:33
@misc{8898083,
  abstract     = {There has been a surge in nationalism and populism in Europe. As these movements increasingly gain political influence in the Member States, the EU has been affected in several ways. This thesis will examine two of these instances: the alleged rule of law breaches in Poland and the probable fu-ture withdrawal of Britain from the EU. These situations are governed by Article 7 TEU and Article 50 TEU respectively, and their individual as well as mutual impact on the integration of the EU are therefore analysed. Are they capable of safeguarding the European integration project against national constitutional disruptions and populism? 
A better understanding of the theoretical and constitutional framework that shapes the EU will enable an analysis of the Articles that takes their legal and political context into account. 

The thesis begins with examining the constitutional foundation of the EU through its legal and political development. This shows that the integration project has expanded into covering not only its initial goal of economic integration through the internal market, but broader policy areas. For ex-ample, human rights are now entrenched in EU law through the enactment of the Charter and Article 2 TEU establishes the fundamental values in the EU. In relation to this, the centrality of the rule of law to the functioning of the EU and its integration project must be underlined. Moreover, the politi-cal and legal orders are evaluated from the perspective of theories of inter-governmentalism and supranationalism in order to determine the structure of the European integration. This illustrates an EU with a mix of both in-tergovernmental and supranational aspects in its structure and operations. 

It proceeds with an evaluation of the procedures under Article 7 TEU and Article 50 TEU. Article 7, which provides the EU with the power to sanc-tion a Member State in breach of the fundamental values in Article 2 TEU, show two major weaknesses. The first is its high thresholds. The second is the constitutional nature of the act allegedly in breach as well as the fact that its scope is extended to cover situations where the Member State has acted within its exclusive competence. The complementary procedures adopted as pre-Article 7 mechanism are different due to opposing under-standings of monitoring powers over Member States. This backwards de-velopment shows an increased focus on intergovernmental governance in the EU. Article 50, which allows for the unilateral withdrawal of a Member State from the EU, further underlines this. However, after an examination of its terms in respect of the negotiations and subsequent withdrawal agreement, it appears to be shaped to the EU’s advantage. It can therefore be concluded that it incorporates supranational and federal aspects in its structure and operations. 

Furthermore, the thesis shows that these Articles, and their effects, are in-terlinked to a certain extent. This is due to their impact on the power rela-tion between the Member States and the EU in terms of national sovereign-ty and the conferral of competences. 

Lastly, it is analysed whether Article 7 TEU and Article 50 TEU can safe-guard the European integration. Article 7 TEU, although theoretically equipped with tools to safeguard compliance with the fundamental values in Article 2 TEU, these are not effectively utilised because of the intergov-ernmental and political aspects of its structure. This is problematic, as compliance with the fundamental values in Article 2 TEU are essential to uphold the functioning of the EU. However, it is equally important that the Member States remain in the EU. Although providing for the unilateral withdrawal from the EU, Article 50 TEU has proven to be more than a purely intergovernmental tool for disintegration. Firstly, it is supranational in its operations. Secondly, it can further integration through allowing a let-out for Member States that do not want to cooperate. Combined, these as-pects show the inefficiency of increased intergovernmental governance and the importance of an open discussion of the constitutional basis on which the European integration should be carried forward.},
  author       = {Arvidsson, Moa},
  keyword      = {EU law,European Integration Project},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Safeguards of EU Integration? - An Analysis of the Impact of Article 7 TEU and Article 50 TEU on the European Integration Project},
  year         = {2016},
}