On Cherry-Picking ... or Trying to Have One’s Cake and Eating It: past principles and practice in the pursuit of an alternative to [full] EU membership

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    Abstract

    With the United Kingdom’s continued membership of the EU being increasingly questioned and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, committed to 're-negotiate’ the terms of membership, consideration is being given to what forms alternatives to [full] membership may take. While much current discussion focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of particular existing arrangements (e.g. European Economic Area, Swiss bilateralism), this paper examines the broader principles and practices that have to date underpinned – and undermined – EU’s attempts to develop alternatives to [full] EU membership. Drawing on an analysis of the evolution of association as an alternative to membership, the paper assesses the principled, practical and political limitations the EU faces – and imposes on itself – in offering an acceptable balance of rights and obligations to states not wishing to assume the mantle of full membership. In its assessment the paper considers various proposed models of affiliate and associate membership. It also situates consideration of the UK case in the broader context of the EU’s relations with other European non-member states for which membership may not be achievable and for which alternatives to membership (e.g. a form of privileged partnership) have been proposed. In doing so, the paper reflects on the precedent-setting consequences of any arrangement that the EU might reach with any state re-negotiating membership or withdrawing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
    EventExchanging Ideas on Europe 2013 – UACES 43rd Annual Conference - University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
    Duration: 02 Sep 201304 Sep 2013

    Conference

    ConferenceExchanging Ideas on Europe 2013 – UACES 43rd Annual Conference
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityLeeds
    Period02/09/201304/09/2013

    Keywords

    • European Union
    • Membership
    • Brexit

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)

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