Secession Right – an Anti-Federal Principle? Comparative Study of Federal States and the EU

  •  Florentina Harbo Harbo    


This article argues that the secession right is incompatible with federalism. The right of secession is one of the main criteria to differentiate a federal state from a confederation and a Bund. There are only a few federal states that recognised the secession right in their constitutions and they failed. On the other hand, there are even confederations which did not accept a secession right in their treaties. The issue of secession has always been very controversial in the European Union, which is a Bund (federal polity), but its Treaties never included it. The radical change is the introduction of Art. I-60 in the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (“Reform Treaty” now), which might give a new face to the EU if ever it is ratified.

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