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Article

Asymmetry as an Instrument of Differentiated Integration

The Case of the European Union

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords asymmetry, comparative and EU law, differentiated integration, crisis, economic governance
Authors Giuseppe Martinico
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article offers a reflection on asymmetry as an instrument of differentiated integration in the current phase of the EU integration process. As for the structure, this work is divided into four parts: First, I shall clarify what I mean by asymmetry as an instrument of integration relying on comparative law. This comparative exercise is particularly useful because it allows us to acknowledge the strong integrative function performed by asymmetry in contexts different from but comparable to the EU system. Second, I shall look at EU law and recall the main features of asymmetry in this particular legal system. In the third part of the article I shall look at the implications of the financial crisis, which has increased the resort to asymmetric instruments. In the last part I shall deal with some recent proposals concerning the differentiated representation of the Eurozone. The idea of differentiated integration and that of asymmetry have been extended and adapted to many different processes by scholars over the years, but to avoid misunderstandings I would like to make clear that in this work I shall analyse those forms of asymmetries that are allowed and carried out only when respect for an untouchable core of integration is guaranteed. This is crucial to conceive asymmetry as an instrument of integration.


Giuseppe Martinico
Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law, Scuola Sant’Anna, Pisa; Research Fellow, Centre for Studies on Federalism, Turin; Honorary Professor at the European law research centre, University of Henan, Kaifeng, China. Article Completed on 23 February 2016. This article is part of the project "Gobernanza económica europea y transformación constitucional”, (MINECO, DER2014-57116P).

Giuseppe Martinico
PhD, Sant'Anna School of Advanced studies, Pisa.

Oreste Pollicino
Associate Professor in Comparative Public Law, Bocconi University, Milan.

Giuseppe Martinico
Lecturer in Law at the University of Pisa; PhD, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa. I would like to thank Emanuele Pollio for his comments and Andrea Serafino and Alberto Montagner for their help in preparing a preliminary version of this work.

Giuseppe Martinico
Lecturer in Law, University of Pisa, Center for Peace Studies, STALS Senior Assistant Editor (www.stals.sssup.it), Visiting Research Fellow, King's College London, Centre of European Law

Giuseppe Martinico

Oreste Pollicino

Vincenzo Sciarabba
Paragraphs B and D have been written by Giuseppe Martinico (STALS Senior Assistant Editor, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna); paragraphs C and F by Oreste Pollicino (Associate Professor in Comparative Public Law, Bocconi University, Milan); paragraphs A and E by Vincenzo Sciarabba (Post-doc Researcher in Comparative Public Law, University of Pavia). For the idea of the “untouchable core” see, N. Lavranos, Revisiting Article 307 EC: The Untouchable Core of Fundamental European Constitutional Law Values, in F. Fontanelli, G. Martinico & P. Carrozza, (Eds.), Shaping Rule of Law Through Dialogue: International and Supranational Experiences (forthcoming).
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