The principle of homogeneity in EU association treaties

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Research Area:

The principle of homogeneity is probably the most important methodological principle in the EEA Agreement. It is intended to ensure that the legal structure and interpretation in the internal market extended by the three EFTA states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are as uniform as possible, i.e. homogeneous.

In practice, it has turned out that the concept of homogeneity is anything but clear. The spectrum ranges from an understanding of identity to, in part, major deviations. This is also reflected in the case law of the EFTA Court, which is by no means consistent with regard to homogeneity.

The aim of the research is

  • to clarify the concept of homogeneity;
  • to develop a dogmatic basis;
  • to check the application of the principle of homogeneity in practice, and
  • to examine whether the principle of homogeneity can be applied beyond the EEA Agreement to other (future) EU association agreements with third countries (Switzerland; Andorra/Monaco/San Marino; United Kingdom post Brexit).


Project start: 2018