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European Constitutional Law

European Constitutional Law (3rd edn)

Robert Schütze
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date: 22 May 2024

p. 497Conclusion. The Future(s) of the European Unionlocked

p. 497Conclusion. The Future(s) of the European Unionlocked

  • Robert Schütze


This concluding chapter explores the European Union’s potential future evolution alongside two dimensions. A horizontal dimension focuses on the widening or narrowing of its membership, while a vertical dimension explores the deepening or flattening of its level of integration. Every change in the membership of the Union represents a fundamental change in its material constitution. This change can occur either through European enlargements or national withdrawals. Brexit in 2020 was the first instance in which a Member State withdrew from the European Union. Ultimately, the possibility of future reductions in EU membership cannot be categorically excluded; yet the political appetite seems minimal. And a national exit from the European Union will also be much harder for those States within the Union that have constitutionally committed themselves to European integration. The chapter then looks at the European Commission’s ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’, which presents five scenarios offering ‘a series of glimpses into the potential state of the Union by 2025’.

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