Fahey, E. & Santos Vara, J. (2014). Transatlantic Relations and Flexibility within the AFSJ. In: S. Blockmans (Ed.), Differentiated Integration in the EU – From the inside looking out. (pp. 103-125). Centre for European Policy Studies. ISBN 9789461383730
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Variable geometry may constitute an entity that appears to be constantly evolving through the Treaties, however, the UK and Ireland, together with Denmark, appear to be its principal beneficiaries thereof, obtaining positions that new accession States are unable to achieve and thus generating lopsided contours to the phenomenon. The opt-out/in provisions ostensibly indicate an outward constitutional stance of isolation towards further and deeper integration and seem to have generated much legal even political incoherence.The paper analyses in detail the impact of the Protocols upon the international relations agreements of the EU, particularly their operation in the specific case of EU-US relations, on the basis of the practice that has developed since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. Nevertheless, this variable geometry does not in recent years appear to have complicated the negotiation of international agreements dealing with criminal justice and policing measures. Even though it is perhaps too early to establish a definite picture on the UK implication in the external dimension of the AFSJ, it seems clear that the UK is committed to intensify international cooperation in matters dealing with criminal justice and policing measures.
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