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Expulsion of a Member State from the EU after Lisbon: Political Threat or Legal Reality?

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This article will answer the question whether expulsion of a Member State is possible from a legal point of view or if this is just a political threat that cannot actually be implemented into practice. The article will analyze the existing legal mechanisms under EU law after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. All the legal options discussed will be linked with some scenarios that we have either seen in the past or we could see in the future. The author will also look into international public law to check if there are any external options for the expulsion of a Member State from the European Union. After the Treaty of Lisbon any Member State is officially free to leave the EU whenever it wants. However, it might be quite hard to get rid of a recalcitrant country even if it is breaching the Union's fundamental values, not respecting its obligations or refuses to ratify a treaty amendment indispensable for further European cooperation. What options are available to the EU and its Member States in such circumstances will be discussed in the article.


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