Changing EU internal borders through democratic means

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Series Details Vol.39, No.5, July 2017, p515-528
Publication Date July 2017
ISSN 0703-6337
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Demands for secession from EU member states create a novel situation for the demarcation of the internal borders of the Union. When combined with withdrawal of the original state from the EU, this adds the complexity of simultaneously re-drawing internal and external borders.

Situation differ among the territories in which political actors have voiced desires for independence combined with EU membership and the two basic differentiating criteria refer to the existence of consent/agreement with the original member state and the latter willingness of remaining or not an EU member. The combination of these two criteria produce four scenarios for which EU policy in relation to granting membership should also differ.

I argue that the EU should have the most positive attitude in cases combining consent and withdrawal of the original member state whilst cases lacking consent seem incompatible with EU values even though some nuances can be introduced.

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