Conceptualizing the Schmittian ‘Exception’ in the European Union: From the ‘Opt-out’ Procedure(s) to Indirect Forms of Secessionism

Luca Siliquini-Cinelli, Béatrice Schütte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Too often, legal and sociopolitical scholars concerned with European policies anddecision-making procedures focus their efforts only on the official essence ofconventional opt-out forms of nonparticipation in the European integration process,such as those established in the Treaty of Lisbon. Yet, far from being just an internalmatter, the independentist instances which informed the Scottish referendum had asignificant impact on delicate issues of EU law, biopolitics, political anthropology,political theology, and foreign policy which deserve to be properly addressed. The necessity of conducting such an analysis is self-evident, and mainly related to the possibility that the Scottish experience may be soon replicated, with different results,in the Italian regions of Venetia, Sardinia, and Lombardy, and in the Spanish community of Catalonia. Delving into this dimension through Schmitt’s political decisionism and adopting a comparative and interdisciplinary approach that transcends the limits of pure positivistic and analytical lines of inquiry, this paper presents a country’s choice to leave the EU or stop cooperating with it through the direct opt-out mechanisms officially regulated in its Treaties, or through indirect forms of secessionism, in terms of an ‘exceptional’ act of sovereign will.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
JournalChicago-Kent Journal of International and Comparative Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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