Monday, February 22, 2010

A Serious Question About the E.U.

The thing I always wondered about the European Union--and which no one was ever to explain to me--is what the mechanism for secession is.

If a country wanted to leave the E.U., or did something to merit being kicked out, how would that work? I assume the planners in Brussels had some contingency for this, however unlikely. After all, it's not hard to think of a few doomsday scenarios under which it becomes advantageous either to the Union or to individual member states for the two to part ways.

Maybe it's just as simple as dropping the euro and reverting to your own sovereign currency?


James said...

Adopting the Euro isn't a prerequisite for EU membership. Most notably, the UK is still on the Pound Sterling.

WershovenistPig said...

Wikipedia has an entry on this topic (of course it does):

I dug this stuff up on the dastardly interweb, so take it for what it's worth:

Apparently, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has the vague details on secession:

"The treaty introduces an exit clause for members who wish to withdraw from the Union. This formalises the procedure by stating that a member state may notify the European Council that it wishes to withdraw, upon which withdrawal negotiations begin; if no other agreement is reached the treaty ceases to apply to the withdrawing state two years after such notification.[1]"

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty states....

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention.
In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the
framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on
behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
9.5.2008 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 115/43

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.