“Legal scenarios for the European Union’s relations with new states emerging from a secession process from a member state”, by Alfonso González-Bondia
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The current debate on the consequences for the European Union if there were a declaration of independence within a Member State seems to revolve around the presumably irrefutable fact of a sine die exclusion of the new State, in view of a set of juridical and political considerations. However, these considerations must be analysed in greater detail in order to clarify on a debate which has become excessively polarised, influenced by the zeal to proffer arguments in favour of or against independence.
In order to determine what the legal consequences of a situation of this kind might be, we shall analyse four clearly interrelated issues: the identification of general international legal norms or European Union legal norms which regulate the succession of States within international organisations; the European Union’s current position on succession matters regarding the organisation and especially the case of secession within a Member State; the factors that the European Union might bear in mind when responding to a request for succession with member status for the new State that emerged from the secession from a Member State; and finally, the European Union’s possible responses in the case of secession within a Member State in terms of the succession of it member status within the organisation.