Sub-national challenges to Europe’s constitutional structure
Title: Sub-national challenges to Europe’s constitutional structure
Author: FINCK, Michèle
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2012
Series/Number: EUI LLM theses; Department of Law
This LL.M. thesis investigates how European Union law reacts when sub-national actors behave as an autonomous level of public authority. It will look at how supranational law has traditionally dealt with sub-national actors and then examine whether Article 4(2) TEU, introduced into the European legal order by the Treaty of Lisbon, constitutes a new interpretative device having the potential to change the ways in which European Union law looks at these entities. My analysis will show firstly, that the sub-national scale has become increasingly important, both at domestic and European scales, during the past decades, something which is now also reflected by primary law since the enactment of Article 4(2) TEU. It will be seen secondly that it remains unclear whether this provision stands for the direct recognition of local and regional self-government or whether the latter is recognized only indirectly as forming part of the Member State’s national identity. Thirdly, it will be seen that the case law preceding the insertion of Article 4(2) TEU into the framework of supranational law is rather heterogeneous. This draws a picture of incoherence as in some areas of the law the Court creates space for sub-national autonomies while in others it does not. Whether this will change under the influence of Article 4(2) TEU largely depends on how this provision will be interpreted in future times. I will illustrate that the Court could opt either for a bold or a more cautious approach in this respect. While the first option would allow to gently create some space for sub-national actors within EU law without conflicting with firmly established principles of the supranational legal order, the second approach could remedy the incoherence that currently characterises this area.
Subject: Law -- Interpretation and construction
Supervisor: Professor Giorgio Monti, European University Institute; Award date: 26 November 2012
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