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Titill

United in Diversity. Flexibility and Differentiation within European Union Law

Útdráttur

The purpose of this mainly descriptive legal study is to examine some of the most significant cases of differentiation and flexibility within EU primary law and recent accession treaties, namely the 2004 accession of Cyprus and Malta. Throughout the study, the main questions proposed concern the actual status of the various mechanisms explored; i.e. in what form do these mechanisms appear? This study also concerns the process of enlargement; that is, the granting of temporary and permanent differentiation in significant areas of interest for the former applicant states of Cyprus, Malta, and the possible candidate country of Iceland.
Due to the legal nature and limited extent of this study, the examination will take place in a descriptive approach in a predominantly chronological order. Firstly, Chapter 2 describes the main theories, methods and concepts of differentiated integration, which provide for some clarification in terms of apprehending the actual basis and tradition for differentiation in EU law. In chapters 3 and 4, each EU treaty from the Treaty of Rome to the recently ratified Treaty of Lisbon will be examined in terms of differentiation and flexibility. Furthermore, the mechanism of closer cooperation introduced in the Treaty of Amsterdam will be explained, following a closer inspection on the progression of the provisions as amended by the following Treaties of Nice and Lisbon, as well as the Constitutional Treaty. Moreover, the enlargements that took place from the years of 1975 to 2004 will be discussed briefly.
Chapter 5 provides an assessment of the enlargement process of 2004 as regards Cyprus and Malta. Icelandic prospects are examined in Chapter 6, in the light of the documents that have been introduced by the Commission of the European Communities (hereinafter the Commission) as a response to the Icelandic application. However, due to the legal nature of this study, the examination will be limited to the evaluation of possible Icelandic differentiation from two chapters that do not fall under the EEA acquis, namely the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies.
Lastly, conclusions will be summarised in Chapter 7, and some thoughts expressed on the subject of the subject of the future of flexibility and differentiation in an enlarged European Union.

Birting
5.5.2010


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