Secession Clauses: A Tool for the Taming of an Arising Leviathan in Brussels?
Author: Apolte, T.
Source: Constitutional Political Economy, Volume 8, Number 1, 1997 , pp. 57-70(14)
Abstract:Several scholars have recently come out in support of the argument by James Buchanan that each member state of the European Union be given the right to secede from the EU. According to these scholars, a simple majority ought to be sufficient for secession, since this would help check the tendency of EU institutions to increase their power against the will of both member states and individuals. This paper, however, argues that while secession may be a means to increase individual liberty vis-a-vis a central government, it may also be abused by a majority in order to oppress the minority of the respective jurisdiction's inhabitants. Since in a federation different government levels check each others' power, thereby enhancing individual freedom, secession removes one of these governmental levels and, hence, distorts the existing system of checks and balances. This paper argues that such a drastic step has the character of a constitutional act and thus should be decided on under rules reserved for post constitutional legislation.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Gerhard Mercator University, Department of Economics, D-47048 Duisburg, Germany
Publication date: January 1, 1997