Of bits and pieces of EU law in territories. The many shades of European integration.

Laulhe Shaelou, Stephanie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3221-5116 and Kalaitzaki, Katerina orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2444-6248 (2024) Of bits and pieces of EU law in territories. The many shades of European integration. In: Redefining Membership: Differentiation in and outside the European Union. Oxford University Press (OUP). ISBN 9780192857347 (In Press)

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The very first provision of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) clearly states that the Contracting Parties to the Treaty establish among themselves a Union, ‘on which the Member States confer competences to attain objectives they have in common’. To the extent that the attainment of ‘objectives Member States have in common’ may have been diverse or differentiated throughout the evolution of the European project, as developed in the present edited volume, this chapter intends to provide a renewed analysis of key manifestations of differentiated integration in today’s European Union (EU) by reference to Member State territories (the sum of their various parts or areas falling under their jurisdiction) and their possible impact on the re(definition) of EU membership. It is argued that notwithstanding initial delimitations in the EU Treaties, the concept of EU membership and the principle of adherence to the EU acquis have taken on renewed dimensions during the last decades of the ‘ever-closer Union’. Throughout the existence of the EU, Member States may have been allowed to expressly opt out from specific areas or policies in initial phases of the European project’s construction, while in later stages, newer Member States may be ‘exempted’ from EU provisions and/or principles at the core of EU law, as a matter of ‘necessity’, benefiting from temporary transitional regimes and/or more permanent derogations/exemptions/limitations. At the same time, specific territories, internal or external to the Union, exceptionally remain de facto and/or de jure integrated in various EU policies. These multiple shades of European integration are probably most perceivable among some of the territories of Member States and parts of the United Kingdom (UK) territory particularly, and through their complex relations with EU law. At the same time, the withdrawal clause from the Union has now been acted upon in the context of Brexit, redesigning the landscape for the UK territory, its relationship with the EU and with Member States in a set of complex neighbouring relations.

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