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Juliana Almeida and Guilherme Oliveira e Costa

Abstract

For the last forty years, the European Union has been pursuing the goal of a unified system of patent law, which would make it possible for an invention to be protected, by EU law, throughout the territory of the Member-States, with a single application. This would simplify the patent protection system, making it easier, less costly and more secure, and would facilitate access to the internal market and promote scientific and technological development. However, problems might arise because of the plurality of legal sources that could be involved and due to the fact that not all countries want to be part of this new system. Nevertheless, the involvement of the majority of the Member-States in the Unitary Patent Package, through participating in an international agreement and in using the EU’s enhanced cooperation mechanism, is evidence of federalist manifestations of the EU as a sui generis organisation.

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Matteo Bonelli

Abstract

The EU has not yet found effective answers to constitutional crises in its Member States, in particular Hungary and Poland. Due to systemic problems of compliance with the common values of Art. 2, the legitimacy of the EU constitutional order and its smooth functioning are under threat, but the EU lacks instruments of direct enforcement and coercion. Several authors have therefore proposed to ‘federalize’ EU mechanisms and to guarantee to EU institutions, in particular the Court of Justice, more powers to intervene vis-à-vis Member States. However, the current Treaty framework presents a series of obstacles to federal-like enforcement. Solutions to national crises must ultimately respect the constitutional balance between the Union and the Member States.

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Tommaso Visone

Abstract

In recent political debate, the association between national souverainisme and Euroscepticism is considered a natural one. From Marine Le Pen to Matteo Salvini, there is a unanimous affirmation of the necessity to defend national sovereignty against the threat of Brussels. But if we take a more in-depth look, we can see how European Integration has fed two different approaches to European federalism: the first began in 1951, a concrete path on which a kind of European federation was progressively built, while the second has considered the same path to be an obstacle in the attempt to move towards a possible European federation. According to the first group the process of integration has been better than nothing while, the opinion of the second is that the same process has been worse than nothing. Such Eurosceptic Federalism finds its roots in the anti-cosmopolitan federalism of the interwar debate and unifies, paradoxically, radical libertarians and convinced communitarians.

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Samo Bardutzky

Abstract

This article is inspired by the 2017 discussions on the future of Europe (in particular some of the ideas debated in the White Paper on the Future of Europe, published by the European Commission) and the events that took place in the crises and post-crises period (aftermath of the financial crisis, ongoing refugee crisis and the Brexit shock). It is particularly interested in the scenario of differentiated integration. In this regard, it observes how in the aftermath of the crises, there was a shift in the rationale of differentiated integration with objective (in)ability of the states taking a prominent role. It presents a federalist critique of this development, drawing on the work of Daniel Elazar, discussing the concepts of non-centralization, federal process and federal covenant in the context of the 2017 discussions in the EU.

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Federica Mogherini

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Paolo Ponzano

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Michel Theys