Flexibility in constitutions. Forms of closer cooperation in federal and non-federal settings, post-Nice edition

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.2
Publication Date 2002
ISBN 90-76871-06-X
Content Type


The enlargement of the EU in May 2004 has brought the question of flexibility even more into the limelight. It is seen by many as an essential element in the future successful working of the enlarged Union. Flexibility was 'institutionalised' by the Treaty of Amsterdam and further modified by the Treaty of Nice. However it is an area bedevilled by confusion and this book aims to bring clarification.

The work is organised in two parts comprising twelve chapters in all. Part one looks at various examples of flexibility and their workings in the Dutch Republic of the United Provinces, through German Constitutional Law and Confederation to Federation in Switzerland and some constitutional and international experiences in Spain, Belgium, France and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Part one closes with a chapter on flexibility in the American context.

Part two addresses flexible co-operation in the EU format. It explores such issues as differentiation and how that sits within the recent institutionalisation of flexibility, and comments upon the progress or otherwise in the period between Amsterdam and Nice. One contribution addresses the institutional balance of the European Community and the European Union and the extent to which that is affected by flexibility; another discusses the three main elements of Article 11 EC as introduced by the Treaty of Amsterdam and the question of whether the acquis communitaire will be affected. The extent to which sovereignty is challenged by, or offers a challenge to, flexibility and thereby integration is also considered. The final chapter is by way of epilogue and looks at the issues raised in earlier chapters, forming the view that notwithstanding all complexity, a model of 'balanced constitution' is detected.

The work will suit scholars students, policy researchers and politicians having an interest in European Union integration and constitutional matters.

Annette Schrauwen is a lecturer in European Politics and European Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Source Link http://www.europalawpublishing.com
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