Claudia Cinnirella

Claudia Cinnirella is a research fellow in EU Law at the Department of Law of the University of Catania within the research project “ExTemPoRe. Exceptionally Bad Times. Memory, Policy and Regulation of Transnational Crisis”, where she works on the role of interstate solidarity in the management of transboundary crises. She graduated in law with honors at the University of Catania, held a postgraduate diploma in EU Law from the University of Naples “Federico II” and obtained a PhD in EU Law from the University of Naples “Parthenope”. Her thesis, entitled “Solidarity between the Member States of the European Union. A contribution to the interpretation of a general principle of Union Law”, explores the meaning and normative value of interstate solidarity within the EU legal order. During her studies, Claudia specialized in EU Law at the European University Institute, King’s College London, and The Hague Academy of International Law. As a practitioner, Claudia gained experience with traineeships at the Corte Suprema di Cassazione and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Claudia has been admitted to Bar and she is also a senior member of the legal clinic program “Coesione e diritto” of the University of Catania, where she offers pro bono legal assistance in EU/International migration and refugee law.

As an Emile Noël Fellow, Claudia will work on her book, complementing the analysis of the general principle of interstate solidarity with a broader account of its implications within the accession to and withdrawal from the European Union.


Research Project

Liminal Solidarity. The (de)construction of Member States’ interdependence within the EU transitional legal order. Interstate solidarity is an essential character of EU membership. Within the EU constitutional framework, this principle of Union law may generate rights and duties both on the EU and on its Member States, providing to a Member State affected by an external shock or whose capacities are structurally not sufficient the support to fulfil its obligations under EU Treaties. While there is literature enquiring the role of interstate solidarity in the context of the full membership, there is little more general inquiry concerning its role within the transitional legal order generated by the accession and withdrawal of a State to/from the EU. Despite these processes are firmly embedded in the system of the EU Treaties, rights and obligations deriving from EU law are not fully applicable toward acceding and exiting countries. Interstate solidarity may play a crucial role, especially in times of crisis, striking an appropriate balance between the Union’s interest and needs of States with an in-progress membership. The forceful response of the EU to the Covid-induced socio-economic crisis offers the perfect field for investigation. The EU has mobilized material and economic resources in order to tackle the coronavirus health-related consequences and to support the socio-economic recovery of both acceding countries and the UK. Against this background, the research aims to enquire the rationale and the scope of application of the principle of interstate solidarity within the (de)construction of Union membership. It explores to what extent solidarity-based instruments find a room within the stabilization and association agreements and the UK-EU withdrawal Treaty. How does the EU assists candidate countries for the prevention and the management of transnational crisis? What are the effects of withdrawal on existing EU solidarity-based rights and obligations? Overall, the research project aims to further articulate and enrich the understanding of a crucial principle of Union Law, lying at the heart of what the EU means as a political and legal order.