Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

A BRIXIT from Europe: What does 'multi-speed' Europe actually mean?

ACELG EU Debates Series

18Sept2013 17:00 - 19:00


The possibility of a Greek exit from the euro on account of the rising difficulty in resolving its finances was labelled by media pundits as ‘Grexit’. The recent position by the UK Prime Minister outlining a possible future referendum in 2017 in the UK on its membership of the EU resulted in ‘Grexit’ evolving into the idea of ‘Brixit’.

The debate

With a view to a possible referendum the British Government is hard at work on a “Review of the balance of competences between the UK and the EU”, an enormous operation spanning all departments of government.

But what precisely would happen in the event of a Member State seeking to undo a number of its obligations under the Union treaties? Or even leaving the EU or the Euro? How could it happen? What legal and institutional outcomes would result from ‘Brixit’?  Who loses and benefits? How do we understand what lawyers and political scientists describe as multi-speed Europe? Do we perhaps already have a multi-speed Europe?


  • Prof. Bruno de Witte, University of Maastricht and European University Institute
  • Prof. Pieter Jan Kuijper, ACELG, University of Amsterdam
  • Prof. Deirdre Curtin, ACELG, University of Amsterdam
  • Prof. Steven Blockmans, ACELG, University of Amsterdam and Centre for European Policy Studies

Spui 25

This series is organised in cooperation with Spui 25, the University of Amsterdam's gate to the city of Amsterdam.  The debates are open to the general public and held in Dutch. Please register on the website of SPUI 25.

Published by  ACELG