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Above and below the surface : two models of subnational autonomies in EU law

This thesis examines the relation between subnational autonomies, that is to say regional and local authorities and the norms they create, and European Union law. The existence of local and regional autonomies within the various Member States of the EU is a factual truth. We know that they exist and co-exist with other levels of public authority, themselves generating norms. Yet, on its surface European Union law does not devise any substantive understanding of such autonomies. This stands in stark contrast to the relation between the Member States and the EU, which is governed by a complex catalogue of Treaty rules. As a consequence of European integration, however, subnational autonomies and EU law do interact, so that the latter cannot simply ignore the existence of the former. This thesis sets out to determine the contours of their mutual relation through an analysis of EU procedural and substantive law. It uncovers that the relation between subnational autonomies and EU law is multifarious and diverges depending on whether we look at the surface of EU law, that is to say the Treaties, or whether we look below its surface, at the Court of Justice's rich case law or soft law instruments of the Commission. I map this conclusion through a modelling approach, relying on what I term the 'Insider Model' and the 'Outsider Model' respectively. These models underline that, in some areas of EU law, SNAs are seen to be outsiders to the project of European integration whereas other areas recognise SNAs and especially their norms to be the insiders of that project. The coexistence of both models forces us intellectually to rearrange things. It challenges our 'constitutional imagination'. The key to understanding the coexistence of both models can be found in the evolution of EU law itself. While the Outsider Model remains attached to the public international law origins of the EU Treaties, the Insider Model captures the reality that not only States and citizens, but also SNAs, are integrated into the EU legal order.
Date January 2015
CreatorsFinck, Michèle
ContributorsFisher, Liz ; Weatherill, Stephen
PublisherUniversity of Oxford
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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