Luboš Tichý
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague

Equality of Member States of EU

Jurisprudence 3/2021 Section: Articles Page: 13-24

Keywords: state; member-state of EU; population; normative equality; material equality; mandatory rules; regional policy; policy of cohesion; subsidies; aids; mechanism of control; abuse

Abstract: The article analyses the topic, which is only rarely addressed, yet is of great relevance. The principle of equality of states in international law is also one of the major principles (Art. 4(2) TEU) in EU law. The author focuses on the essence, its aim and its main instruments, features and properties, and analyses its functioning. The issues of voting in the EU bodies are excluded. The article begins with a methodology for measuring equality and its functioning in order to create the model which becomes a criterion for assessing the equality in action. Based on this methodology, the author then distinguishes between the fields of normative equality and fields where material equality is applied by outbalancing inequality of the member states. Focus is placed on the mechanisms of outbalancing, especially in the field of regional and coherence policy. In this case, the exception from the normative equality is applied. The author concludes his considerations with arguments against selectivity within the application of equality, since the normative equality, i.e. the equality in rights and obligations of the member states, does not allow exceptions that may lead to an unequal position of the member states, in other words, to their discrimination.