This article looks at theories of differentiated integration and disintegration in the wake of the Eurozone crisis and the Brexit referendum. It advances four distinct, albeit interrelated, arguments with respect to these proposals. First, it could be contested whether certain policy areas should be pushed to the ‘outer core’ of European integration. Second, it would be very difficult to disentangle those areas to be pushed to the ‘outer core’ from those areas remaining in the ‘inner core’. Third, the legal and institutional arrangements for organizing differentiated integration are equally important. Fourth, even if the problems adumbrated above could be addressed satisfactorily, the emerging arrangements for differentiated integration would differ little from the degree of flexibility or variation that already exists within some of those areas. Brexit may be viewed as an opportunity for reform to ‘fix’ those issues that are regarded as problematic in the design or functioning of the EU. Should it appear desirable to pursue differentiated integration, the better course of action would be to build on those opportunities for differentiated integration that are offered by the EU Treaties. Any forthcoming Treaty revision to take stock of Brexit could be used to give added impetus to differentiated integration.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1093/jiel/jgaa004, hdl.handle.net/1765/129581
Journal Journal of International Economic Law
Citation
Markakis, M. (2020). Differentiated Integration and Disintegration in the EU: Brexit, the Eurozone Crisis, and Other Troubles. Journal of International Economic Law, 23(2), 489–507. doi:10.1093/jiel/jgaa004