Associated, adapted and (almost) assimilated : the European economic area agreement in a revised EU constitutional framework for welfare services
Title: Associated, adapted and (almost) assimilated : the European economic area agreement in a revised EU constitutional framework for welfare services
Author: FLØISTAD, Karin
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2016
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
How are the Contracting Parties to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement affected by the revised European Union (EU) constitutional framework for welfare services? This is the key question analysed in this thesis. By welfare services is meant a broad range of services wholly or partly financed through public funds such as public healthcare- and educational services (Part I), various social services (Part II) and public utilities such as transport and public broadcasting (Part III) The thesis demonstrates how the EU/EFTA institutions applying EEA law have attempted a homogenous development of the EEA integration process despite the EU's altered constitutional framework, and how these attempts create both substantive (legal doctrine) and institutional problems. The thesis engages in the debate from the point of view of the EU Treaty revisions reflecting concern for the social dimension of the market integration process. The findings indicate that although these Treaty revisions have not been reflected in amendments to the EEA agreement, a more advanced understanding of the concept of market integration has emerged also in the EEA integration process. These findings add a new element to the supranational character of the EEA Agreement. Despite the inherent challenge posed by European solidarity to sovereign national welfare provision the EEA Agreement moves into the welfare sphere, giving unprecedented powers in particular to the EFTA institutions. The thesis analyses the controversial and disputed consequences for the EU Member States of the EEA Agreement to enlarge the geographical area of application for the provisions on welfare services. The urgent need for better transparency of the process is the recurring theme. The EFTA States are not only associated with the EU Member States; they are adapted and arguably almost assimilated into the internal market through the decision making of the EU/EFTA institutions applying the EEA Agreement. The thesis demonstrates the complexities involved and calls for political decision making on the part of the Contracting Parties to the EEA Agreement.
Defence date: 27 October 2016; Examining Board: Professor Marise Cremona, supervisor, EUI; Professor Claire Kilpatrick, EUI; Professor Christophe Hillion, University of Leiden and University of Oslo; Professor Fredrik Sejersted, Attorney General, Norway
Type of Access: embargoedAccess