chapter  14
17 Pages

Alternatives to Withdrawal from an International Organization: the Case of the European Economic Community

ByJoseph H.H. Weiler

The practice of omitting withdrawal clauses from the constituent treaties of many international organizations was highlighted by Nathan Feinberg in his article on 'Unilateral Withdrawal from an International Organization', acknowledged as 'the most thorough study of the subject'. Withdrawal from an international organization, whether unilateral or negotiated, is a drastic step. It indicates that a State has been unable to express its voice adequately in the organization. Recalcitrant Member States seeking to avoid unpalatable consequences of membership generally search for techniques less drastic than withdrawal, especially unilateral withdrawal. The Court of Justice of the European Community, which is the supreme judicial body charged with interpreting the Treaty of Rome, has not yet had occasion to give a direct response to this question. The technique of 'oyeractive membership' comes much closer than those previously discussed to the day to day political reality of the Community.