Lisbon Treaty

A reminder about the power of the EU to keep its member states in. Note especially that "the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it."


Article 50

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.


Title I

Remember, when reading Title I, that "The Union" has exclusive competence in many major areas of policy eg:

  • the customs union
  • the economic and monetary policy of the EU, including sharing a single currency, the euro
  • competition laws
  • a common position in international trade negotiations such as the WTO trade rounds, as part of a common international trade policy
  • conservation of marine biological resources (part of the common fisheries policy between EU states)
  • the concluding of some international agreements.

CATEGORIES AND AREAS OF UNION COMPETENCE

1. When the Treaties confer on the Union exclusive competence in a specific area, only the Union may legislate and adopt legally binding acts, the Member States being able to do so themselves only if so empowered by the Union or for the implementation of Union acts.

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