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Law and Values in the European Union$
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Stephen Weatherill

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557264.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 16 May 2022

What is the European Union for?

What is the European Union for?

(p.1) 1 What is the European Union for?
Law and Values in the European Union

Stephen Weatherill

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how each State is a victim of the sovereignty exercised by one of its neighbours—the reality of State sovereignty when States are interdependent. States can agree upon common standards, or perhaps will agree to recognize each other’s different standards. In this sense, a State surrenders the right to act unilaterally and thereby to impose costs on other States; but by choosing instead to co-operate, that State gains by being able to participate in a mutually benefitting decision-making process. Many problems that beset States today are problems that are faced in common (climate change, migration, security), and it is possible that they are more likely to be solved effectively by collective action. This is the logic of the European Union (EU), in which all States are able to gain once they are locked into a mutually agreed framework for addressing such issues.

Keywords:   interdependent States, State sovereignty, European Union, unilateral action, collective action, climate change, migration, security

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