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The Treaty of Lisbon and the Future of European Law and Policy

The Treaty of Lisbon and the Future of European Law and Policy

Edited by Martin Trybus and Luca Rubini

This comprehensive and insightful book discusses in detail the many innovations and shortcomings of the historic Lisbon version of the Treaty on European Union and what is now called the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Chapter 7: A Jagged-edged Jigsaw: The Boundaries of Constitutional Differentiation and Irish-British-Euro Relations after the Treaty of Lisbon

Elaine Fahey

Subjects: law - academic, european law


Elaine Fahey 1. INTRODUCTION1 While key objectives of the Stockholm Programme2 are judicial cooperation and the unity of European Union (EU) law, the Treaty of Lisbon appears to deepen and widen the nature of multi-speed integration in the European Union (EU). Multi-speed integration in the EU (also known by the terms variable geometry or constitutional differentiation)3 is an entity that appears to be constantly evolving through the Treaties. Yet from the inception of the Treaty of Amsterdam to the present day, Ireland and the UK, together with Denmark, appear ostensibly to be the principal beneficiaries of multi-speed integration, obtaining constitutional positions that new accession States are unable to achieve. In the context of Ireland and the UK, multi-speed integration took effect most prominently in the Schengen Protocol attached to the Treaty of Amsterdam. Wiener suggested over a decade ago (writing of this Protocol), that the utilisation of constitutional differentiation by the UK to adopt its own policy stances demonstrated 1 For an earlier and fuller treatment of the arguments set out here with respect to the Irish position in particular, see Fahey, E. (2010), ‘Swimming in a sea of law: reflections on water borders, Irish(-British)-Euro relations and opting-out and opting-in after the Treaty of Lisbon’, Common Market Law Review, 47, 673–707. 2 Council document 17024/09, adopted by the European Council on 10/11 December 2009. See COM(2010) 171 ‘Delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for the Europe’s Citizen Action Plan implementing the...

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