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Federalism in the European Union

Editor(s): Elke Cloots, Geert De Baere, Stefan Sottiaux
Media of Federalism in the European Union
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Published: 03-09-2012
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 438
ISBN: 9781847319975
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Modern Studies in European Law
RRP: £85.50
Online price : £68.40
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Loren Epson

About Federalism in the European Union

This edited volume aims to reveal the Janus-faced character of federalism in the European Union. Federalism appears in two main forms in the EU. On the one hand, numerous formerly unitary Member States have embarked on a path towards a (quasi-)federal governance structure. On the other hand, the EU itself is sometimes qualified as a federal system. Significantly, the concept of federalism has a very different, even opposite, connotation in both contexts. When associated with Member State reform, federalism is regarded as a technique for accommodating autonomy claims of sub-state nations. By contrast, when federalism is used as a label for the EU itself, it is conceived as a far-reaching way of integrating the nations of Europe. This dual appearance of federalism in the EU context is central to the structure of the book. The first collection of essays addresses the question whether the EU may be described as a federal system, and whether it can learn from existing federations. In the second set of contributions, the attention shifts to domestic federalisation processes, more particularly to the impact of these processes on EU law and vice versa.

Table Of Contents

Introduction: Federalism's Janus Face
Elke Cloots, Geert De Baere and Stefan Sottiaux
1. EU Federalism in 3-D
Koen Lenaerts
2. Federalism and Jurisdiction
Pavlos Eleftheriadis
3. Federalism, the EU and International Law: On the Possible (and Necessary) Role of Subsidiarity in Legitimate
Multilevel Trade Governance
Alexia Herwig
4. The Court of Justice as a Federal Constitutional Court: A Comparative Perspective
Monica Claes and Maartje de Visser
5. The Dual System of Rights Protection in the European Union in Light of US Federalism
Aida Torres Pérez
6. Federalism and International Relations in the European Union and the United States: A Comparative Outlook
Geert De Baere and Kathleen Gutman
7. European Ties that Bind: Political or Cultural?
Helder De Schutter
8. Does EU Decision-Making Take into Account Regional Interests?
Piet Van Nuffel
9. The Role of Sub-State Entities in the EU Decision-Making Processes: A Comparative Constitutional Law Approach
Nikos Skoutaris
10. Autonomous Constitutional Regions in a Federal Europe
Joxerramon Bengoetxea
11. The European Court of Justice and the Devolution of Taxation Powers
Suzanne Kingston
12. The Impact of EU Law on the Devolution of Social Powers in the Member States
Herwig Verschueren
13. EU Law and Language Regulation in (Quasi-)Federal Member States
Elke Cloots and Stefan Sottiaux
14. The European Court of Justice and Member State Federalism: Balancing or Categorisation?
Elke Cloots
15. The Impact of 'Regional Blindness' on the Italian Regional State
Giuseppe Martinico
16. The Spanish State Structure and EU Law: The View of the Spanish Constitutional Court
Maite Zelaia Garagarza
17. Economic and Monetary Union: Caught between Brussels and Luxembourg? The Influence of EU Law
on Belgian Federalism Case Law
Stef Feyen


“...the book offers an important contribution to the study of EU constitutional law; it lays down rigorous theoretical and methodological foundations for further inquiries into “Federalism and the EU” topics and provides much useful information. The extensive use of comparison is to be welcomed because it makes it possible to highlight differences between the EU federalising process and constitutional life in other, better-established federal systems” –  Giacomo Delledonne, Public Law Volume 1

“In addressing the question of how the decentralisation of public authority within a Member State interrelates with European Union law, the book fills a significant gap in scholarly literature. Further, it offers some interesting insights into how federalism relates to the structure of the EU itself.

The large variety of issues covered by the book makes it a good read, with interesting and sometimes brilliant analysis, for anyone interested in EU law. The book is particularly noteworthy as it participates in a slowly emerging debate on the relation between the Member State's sub-national authorities and EU law.

While there is as yet no principled and coherent approach to EU law towards local and regional autonomies within its Member States, the book provides some answers and provides a valuable starting point for anyone interested in further research on the topic.

” –  Michele Finck, Publius

“...the contributions are well written and make for stimulating reading.” –  Gerhard van der Schyff, European Law Review, Volume 39

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