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6 L’Union fait la Force: Making the Most of the Solidarity Clause Article 222 TFEU)

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Chapter Summary

For the first time in its history, the European Union (EU)'s constituent treaties now include a so-called 'solidarity clause'. Laid down in Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), this article imposes an explicit obligation upon the Union and its Member States to act jointly, 'in a spirit of solidarity', if a Member State is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster. Although closely related, this particular strand of the 'three-musketeer' principle is not to be confused with the 'mutual defence clause', enshrined in Article 42(7) of the Treaty on EU (TEU). This chapter offers a guide to the origins of the solidarity clause, a legal commentary on Article 222 TFEU, a contextual interpretation of the Article, an anthology of challenges for its implementation and some suggestions as to how to overcome them.

Keywords: anthology; Article 222 TFEU; Article 42(7) of TEU; contextual interpretation; European Union (EU)'s constituent treaties; man-made disaster; solidarity clause; terrorist attack



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