Legal and Political Challenges of an Integrated EU Security System
The principle of solidarity is a fundamental principle of the European Union and references to ‘solidarity’ can be found in various provisions in the EU Treaties. The Treaty of Lisbon introduces a new provision, the ‘Solidarity Clause’, which obliges the Union and its Member States to act in a spirit of solidarity in the event of a terrorist attack, a natural or a man-made disaster. It should also enable the Union to prevent and respond to terrorist threats by mobilising all the necessary military and civil instruments.
Long before formal discussions within EU Council structures, the legal and political challenges of this new provision were discussed within an informal group composed of high-level officials of the Ministries of the Interior and Justice of several Member States. The ‘Strategic Circle Internal Security’, founded in 2010 on an initiative of the Austrian delegation in the Art. 71 TFEU Committee (COSI), paved the way for formal discussions within Council structures. These formal discussions started in 2011 and aimed at preparing the drafting of the proposal for a Council decision on the implementation by the Union of the Solidarity Clause. In 2014 this proposal, which was jointly submitted by the Commission and the High Representative, will be adopted by the Council.
I have been lucky enough to be involved in the discussions on the interpretation of Article 222 TFEU from the very beginning, which inspired me to write my Master’s thesis on the Solidarity Clause and the thematically...
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