Summary of the report "Internal Enlargement of the European Union: ideasforeurope.eu/publication/the-internal-enlargement-of-the-european-union/
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Enlargement process: From 6 to 28 (1957 – 2013)
Who is next? Western-Balkan Countries? Turkey? Iceland ?
Could the EU accommodate new member states created out of an already existing EU member ?
• Basque Country
• Flanders (or Wallonia)
• Aland Islands
The notion of Internal Enlargement suggest that a new states born within the European Union becomes automatically a new member state if he so wishes.
Is internal enlargement in line with international law ?
the legal Converse principle establishes that “everything which is not forbidden is allowed”
is it foreseen in the EU treaties?
Never happened before. But There are already some precedents of Border changes within the EU that were not foreseen in the treaties: German reunification (1990), Independence of Algeria (1962)
Then what would happen if Europeans in any country decide to create a new state?
Well… looking into International and European law applicable to this specific issue we find similar cases (yet not very many exists)
Similar cases means:
• Other federal states (the union is a structure of a proto federal inspiration)
• that respect and protect DEMOCRACY and other fundamental principles of the Union (article 2 of the TEU - Treaty of the European Union)
For example, the creation of new federated states has been accepted without a constitutional provision granting such authority and without this meaning expulsion from the federation:
In Switzerland (a symmetric federal state) the people of the canton of Jura decided in 1977 to secede from the canton of Bern. In 1979 the Jura joined the Swiss Confederation as a full member. Between 1977 and 1979 Jura maintained its link to Switzerland despite seceded from the
Quebec had 2 referendums of independence considered legal by the Canadian Constitutional Court despite the secession / independence was not regulated in their legal system (no authorising constitutional clause expressly contemplated in the Constitution’s text). The court considered Democracy to be of a higher value than the constitution itself or legal provisions defining the borders of Canada.
SO - The European Union must accept the new state's membership status, and must guarantee its position as member from the time it is formed to protect the rights of EU citizens who expressed their free will in a referendum or election.