In this edition of Utalk Thibault, from Lyon in France asks, “Can a member state leave the European Union and if so what are the consequences for it and the European Union?”
Antonio Villafranca, from the European Programme, ISPI responds, “This question has been asked for a long time, it was discussed during the European Convention, the one presided over by Giscard d’Estaing, and worked on the draft of the European Constitution.
‘The compromise, which was found, doesn’t exclude a member state, but gives a member state the opportunity to drop out of the European Union. In the end the Constitution, (which the Convention was working on) was not ratified but this opportunity has been included in the Lisbon Treaty.
‘There is a procedure which has to be followed. First the member state has to ask the European Council, which is in charge of starting the negotiations.
‘In fact it has to be decided what kind of relationship there will be between the EU and the former member state. We need to have an international agreement, just like the agreements the EU has got with Switzerland, for example.
‘The European Council decides with a qualified majority, but even the European Parliament has to vote on it. This is the procedure which makes it possible for a member states to leave the EU.
‘Can a member State leave the eurozone?
On this point, the treaties don’t say anything. From a legal point of view, it is not possible. But if something is not possible from a legal point of view, sometime it could become necessary politically.
Thanks to ISCPA and ISPI
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