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Title: Secession and EU law
Author: Campañá, Núria González
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 5999
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Secession is a live issue in today's Western Europe. In the last years, we have witnessed the failure of two pro-independence attempts in Scotland and Catalonia. In the near future, we might see their re-emergence, or the rise of other pro-secession movements in other European regions. The response of the EU institutions to secession within EU Member States may well be based mainly on political considerations. However, since the EU is a community of law based on the Rule of Law, it has also to justify its position with normative arguments of principle. This thesis aims to provide such normative support. The intention is to offer legal reflection that goes beyond a case-specific approach, which could be of relevance to any EU Member State. The main research question of this thesis is the following: how should EU law respond to secessionist attempts within EU Member States? The central claim of the thesis, based on Article 4 (2) TEU, is that the EU duty to respect national identity and fundamental constitutional structures generates obligations in the context of secession to respect Member States constitutional orders, provided that the values enshrined in Article 2 TEU are not violated by the Member State affected. The thesis draws on a pluralist reading of the relation between EU law and national law, to support the conclusion that EU law should respect domestic constitutional orders, with the consequence that if domestic law considers that secession is unlawful (based on the legal criteria established by each EU Member State constitutional legal order), EU law should respect that position by not recognizing the statehood of the secessionist entity. If, on the contrary, the domestic legal order has authorized the secessionist attempt, EU law should respect that outcome by recognizing the new entity as a sovereign State and by entering negotiations in good faith. This means, in effect, that the features of the secession determine the different types of EU responses.
Supervisor: Craig, Paul P. Sponsor: British Spanish Society ; Rafael del Pino Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available