|Abstract: ||Darbe analizuojamas solidarumo principo, įtvirtinto ES sutartyse, teisinis privalomumas valstybėms narėms. Solidarumo principas yra neatsiejama ne tik ES, tačiau ir visos teisės dalis. Solidarumo principas ES sutartyse įvardijamas kaip pamatinė ES vertybė, todėl būtina išaiškinti kaip valstybės narės šio principo laikosi ir kaip įgyvendina sutartyje įtvirtintas nuostatas. Darbe nagrinėjami ES sutarčių nuostatų ypatumai, įvairūs autorių darbai, vertinama antrinių teisės aktų svarba, nustatoma solidarumo principo ir teisinio privalomumo samprata. Remiantis surinkta informacija, identifikuojama solidarumo principo teisinio privalomumo reglamentavimo problema. Daugiausia dėmesio skiriama principo veikimui skirtingose ES teisės srityse- sveikatos apsaugos, energetikos politikos ir muitų sąjungos srityse. Darbe nustatomos pagrindinės principo taikymo, veikimo, teisinio privalomumo problemos, kiekvienoje iš minėtų ES teisės sričių. Išaiškinama kokią įtaka solidarumo principo teisinio privalomumo reglamentavimo stoka, daro valstybėms narėms ir jų teisinei sistemai. Atlikus išsamią analizę, pateikiama išvada, atsakant į klausimą ar ES sutartyse įtvirtintas solidarumo principas yra teisiškai privalomas valstybėms narėms. Atsakymas pagrindžiamas darbe surinkta, išanalizuota ir išaiškinta informacija.|
The principle of solidarity is one of the fundamental values of the European Union (herein after referred to as the EU) framework. Its importance is seen not only in the EU law, but in many states’ legal systems. The aim of this paper is to answer the question whether the principle of solidarity established in the EU treaties is legally binding on the member states. Relevance and novelty of the topic is determined by that the principle of solidarity is often mentioned in the legal system, but the legislation often does not define this principle and does not establish measures on the basis of which this principle is to be legally binding on the member states. So far, this topic is relatively new and analysed a little by the authors in the field of law science. The aim of the paper: to reveal the content of the principle of solidarity, to identify problematic application of legal binding to this principle, to investigate whether the principle of solidarity established in the European Union treaties is legally binding on the member states. The objectives of the paper: 1. To analyse the concept of the principle of solidarity; 2. To review the concept of legal binding; 3. To estimate how the principle of solidarity functions in the EU field of health; 4. To study how the principle of solidarity is proceeded in the EU energy policy; 5. To evaluate how the principle of solidarity functions in the EU Customs Union. Having examined the EU treaties and works of the authors it could be stated that the principle of solidarity does not have a specific definition, therefore, its operation in the EU law is complicated. The solidarity established in the EU treaties is referred to as the framework of the EU and its member states’ value, but each member state may interpret this concept of value on their own, and as a result, the principle of solidarity is understood and valued differently. The principle of solidarity in the paper is seen as distribution of a benefit and burden ratio between the member states. Solidarity may be assessed in relation to two evaluation criteria: • Establishment of the principle of solidarity in the treaties (in the narrow sense); • The principle of solidarity as a whole of all obligations (in a broad sense). The research carried out in the paper revealed the basic problem of the principle of solidarity and its legal binding observed in the EU law areas, namely, uncertainty of the principle of solidarity, lack of specificity, the declarative nature of principle, allow the member states to distort (their favourable way) the concept and principle of the right to imply that this is not respected and not invoked. The EU legal system, regulations may be interpreted as an advantage, because the regulations are necessary for the overall benefit of the member states. Legal binding in the EU legal framework should also be ambivalent: • Legal binding through application of penalties; • Legal binding not providing the penalties. When joining the EU, each member state to enter into commitments, one of them is a legal binding of the treaties and mandatory execution. During assessment of the principle of solidarity in the broad sense, such the operation of the principle is legally binding and must be accompanied by penalties. When assessing the principle of solidarity in the narrow sense with regard to that it is not defined and specifically mentioned in the treaty, it is binding on the member states, but often only a establishing a specific piece of regulation in the treaties is not binding on the member states to respect this principle and follow it, as a result, such an operation of the principle of solidarity may be regarded as legally binding, but unaccompanied by penalties, not causing legal consequences. Taking into account the fact that the principle of solidarity is established in the EU treaties, but the concept is not defined, such establishment of the principle of solidarity in the Treaties, the legal binding, accompanied by penalties, is both practically and theoretically difficult. The principle of solidarity in the field of public health is treated as a social right of a person. The only tangible manifestation of the principle of solidarity in the field of health is a social insurance. This limited operation of the principle of solidarity, understanding, and a narrow scope of its operation show that the member states should be more interested in improving the field of public health and solidarity not only with regard to social security, but to integrate it into the whole legal area of health care. The principle of solidarity in energy policy is established most clearly in the areas of law examined in the paper. Energy policy is based exactly on the principle of solidarity. Different level of member states integration, economic stability or different needs and expectations, poses significant problems for the proper development of energy policy. This problem not only distorts the essence of the principle of solidarity, but the activities of energy policy either. Inadequate implementation of directives in the area of energy policy, failure to transfer them into national legal systems on time, make the operation of the principle of solidarity complicated, because the main problem is not the principle of solidarity, inappropriate regulation, but the gaps of the national legal systems. The principle of solidarity in the Customs union is seen the most obviously. It is true that it is not mentioned or defined in the legislation of the Customs union; however, due to the nature of the Customs union, the principle of solidarity is obvious. Member states in the Customs union shall establish a common customs system; provide rights to customs to control the activities of the Customs union properly. When comparing discussed areas, namely, public health, energy policy, customs union, it can be said that comparing two divided areas of expertise, i.e. health area and energy policy, with the customs union, as an exclusive competence area, there is a clear differentiation. It is claimed that this is exactly in the customs union, the ratio of benefits and burdens is obvious, all states are equal and are each is responsible for their own and the common well-being. Analysed areas of public health and energy which depend on the shared competence a trend is observed that solidarity between the member states depends on what benefits the state receives from the other member states, instead of its refused well-being or accepted burden, in these areas the ratio of benefits and burdens are often not the same. Functioning of the principle of solidarity in the indicated the EU areas leads to the conclusion that the principle of solidarity and the importance of solidarity between the member states depends on the mutual benefit relationship for the member States. In the EU legislation there is no definition of the principle of solidarity and its mechanism of functioning, due to the absence of legal clarity, it is difficult to accuse a member state for failure to comply with the principle of solidarity as the member state can interpret it in its own ways. This is one of the reasons why the Court of Justice of the European Union has not heard the case where the member states would be blamed for failure to comply with the principle of solidarity. The principle of solidarity established by the European Union treaties is legally binding on the member states, but not causing legal consequences in the case of non-compliance with the principle of solidarity. Taking into account what was mentioned above, the hypothesis set in the research of the paper that the principle of solidarity established by the European Union treaties is legally binding on the member states is confirmed with exception.