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Civil Protection Cooperation in EU Law: Is There Room for Solidarity to Wriggle Past?

Authors

  • Theodore Konstadinides

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    • Lecturer in European Law, University of Surrey, Surrey, UK. This paper was written during my fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Thanks to Natasha Gouseti for her support. All mistakes are mine only. The article was submitted and accepted for publication prior to the Commission's proposal for a Council Decision on the arrangements for the implementation of the solidarity clause (Brussels, 21.12.2012, JOIN (2012) 39 final). The Proposal provides scope for further criticism because it falls short of addressing the Solidarity Clause's lack of enforcement credibility.

Abstract

This article provides insight into the under-researched area of civil protection cooperation and disaster response capacity in EU law. It discusses how the mechanisms set up by the EU have assisted Member States in supporting one another when faced with natural or man-made disasters, including those perpetrated by terrorists. In particular, the article provides a critique of the Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) clause, which has introduced the principle of solidarity within the EU's security strategy. The author explores the broadened notion of ‘threat’ in Europe and assesses the significance of the Solidarity Clause vis-à-vis the level of commitment required by Member States for its coherent implementation. The article then contrasts Article 222 TFEU with the mutual defence clause of Article 42 (7) Treaty on European Union (TEU), and finally points into certain ‘grey areas’ that may have a diminution effect upon the political message concerning the EU as a community based on solidarity.

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