Secession in the EU Constitutional Order

The aim of this paper is to trace the position of the EU constitutional order of States with regard to the right of secession of sub-state entities. The thesis of the paper is that although the EU legal order does not recognise a universal and unilateral right of secession to them, its position is more sophisticated than just wishing them ‘a Bon Voyage in their separatist identity’ as JHH Weiler has suggested. In fact the paper would show that the EU legal order is respecting the intricacies of international law with regard to the right of self-determination. Accordingly, the Union is rejecting the right of secession that has been triggered by acts of aggression like in the case of Cyprus. It recognises the right of internal self-determination as exercised through minority rights and legislative autonomy in accordance with Article 4(2) TEU. And it is willing to accommodate consensual and democratic secession in accordance with Article 49 TEU.