Is the EU Heading for a Flexible Union?
AbstractThis article focuses on flexible integration, examining both its development and its current role in European integration, with special attention paid to the mechanism for closer/enhanced cooperation, which a priori presents the only pattern of flexible integration explicitly embedded in the EU's primary law. Based on a terminological and semantic definition of flexible integration, and a categorisation of the three basic models of its use, the essay has three parts. First it analyses the EU from a perspective of the three basic models of flexible integration to assess whether any distinctive features of any of the models predominate. Second, flexible integration is approached through the definition of close/enhanced cooperation in the EU's primary law. Finally, the essay tackles the question of whether the present parameters of enhanced cooperation are sufficient for practical implementation, and identifies some potential political and managerial problems of such implementation.
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