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The Mutual Assistance and Solidarity Clauses

Legal and Political Challenges of an Integrated EU Security System


Antonio-Maria Martino

The Mutual Assistance and Solidarity Clauses is the first comprehensive comparative analysis of two major innovations introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. Antonio-Maria Martino’s study focuses on the origins, scope, interpretation and technical aspects of both clauses, with a particular focus on the Solidarity Clause. He highlights the overlap between both provisions and the wide range of competences theoretically conferred upon the Union by the Solidarity Clause. The author also presents a critical outline of the negotiations with regard to the new Joint Proposal on the implementation of the Solidarity Clause by the Union, which will set out the framework for EU action in the event of a solidarity case.
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I. Introduction


The Mutual Assistance and Solidarity Clauses were formally introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009 and are now enshrined in Title V, Chapter II, Section 2 ‘Provisions on the common security and defence policy’, Article 42(7) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), and in Part V ‘External Action of the Union’, Title VII, Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Until now, they have only received limited attention from scholars and analysts, as well as from national governments and EU institutions. This may change in the near future as the European Council discussed in December 2013 the current status and possible future of the ‘Common Security and Defence Policy’ (CSDP) and the General Affairs Council should adopt a Council Decision on the implementation of the Solidarity Clause (‘Joint Proposal’) in June 2014.

These two clauses raise a number of questions regarding their scope and legal interpretation, their potential for further integration and their practical and technical implementation. Mutual assistance and solidarity are somehow closely related terms in European Union law. If we take a closer look at the current legal framework of the European Union we find several references to ‘solidarity’. Apart from the Preamble to the Treaty on the European Union (“DESIRING to deepen the solidarity between their peoples while respecting their history, their culture and their traditions”5) there are several other references to ‘solidarity’ in primary law.

The Union “shall promote...

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