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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Closer Co-operation in Tomorrow’s European Union


Closer co-operation is possible in two variants, the quasi official "enhanced co-operation" INSIDE the EU treaty and institutions, and the one OUTSIDE the EU and according to treaties established under international law. Their feasibility, utility, and compatibility with basic principles of European integration are examined, and both variants are found to need improvement as to feasibility and to modus operandi.

Such improvements are shown to conflict with compatibility, especially in the case of enhanced co-operation. The Constitutional treaty is a useful indicator for the manner in which this dilemma could be solved: Closer co-operation outside the treaty would be conceded a more legitimate role as an instrument of member states wanting to deepen integration among themselves.

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