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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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VIII. Relation to Other Provisions in the Treaties


The Mutual Assistance and the Solidarity Clauses are not the only provisions in the EU treaties that cover crisis situations. The Union has a wide array of instruments to deal with exceptional occurrences in a spirit of solidarity, such as the Civil Protection Mechanism, the Solidarity Fund272, and the possibility to grant economic and financial support in cases of severe difficulties, as provided for in Article 122 TFEU. Moreover, the Solidarity Clause touches upon the newly established legal basis for the policy area ‘Civil Protection’ as well as the provision concerning ‘Humanitarian Aid’ in Article 214 TFEU, whereas the relation of both Clauses with regard to Articles 346 and 347 TFEU is particularly relevant for the neutral and non-aligned Member States.

VIII.a. Relation to Article 122 TFEU273

Article 122 TFEU opens the possibility for the Council to adopt “in a spirit of solidarity between Member States” appropriate measures “in particular if severe difficulties arise in the supply of certain products, notably in the area of energy” (paragraph (1)). Article 122 TFEU “safeguards intergovernmental decision by stating that the Council ‘may’ decide appropriate measures and grant financial ← 107 | 108 → assistance according to each situation”274. Financial assistance can be granted to a Member State which “is in difficulties or is seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences” (paragraph (2)). The notion of ‘exceptional occurrence’ could encompass situations that are no longer manageable by the affected Member State, such as social...

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