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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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V. Definition and Scope of the Solidarity Clause


The Solidarity Clause (Art. 222 TFEU) became legally binding on 1 December 2009 with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. As outlined under II.b.ii., the Solidarity Clause was already included in the provisions of the Constitutional Treaty, albeit divided into two separate Articles. The Treaty of Lisbon merges Articles I-43 and III-329 TCE into one single Article. Although the title ‘Solidarity Clause’ would suggest a general and horizontal provision on solidarity, Article 222 TFEU remains restricted to specific situations. The Solidarity Clause touches upon different policy areas of the European Union, namely the ‘Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’ (AFSJ) (Title V of the Third Part of the TFEU), the CFSP (CSDP) and ‘Civil Protection’ (Article 196, Title XXIII of the Third Part of the TFEU). Probably also the policy areas ‘Public Health’ (Title XIV), ‘Environment’ (Title XX) and ‘Energy’ (Title XXI), which could all be regarded as areas which have (at least) some links to the Clause.

Article 222 TFEU is located in Title VII ‘Solidarity Clause’ in Part V (‘External Action by the Union’) of the TFEU. Although the Clause is included under ‘External Action’, the provision finds itself in a ‘grey area’ between civilian and military cooperation121. This also corresponds to the institutional setting of the anti-terrorism policy of the Union which is split between the AFSJ and the CFSP122.

V.a. Definition

The Solidarity Clause commits the Union and its Member States to acting jointly in...

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