IATE Term of the Week: Withdrawal Agreement

March 31, 2017 10:04 am

In the light of Britain’s invocation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on the 29th March 2017, a lot of discussion has been raised considering the details of its content. Terminology plays a fundamental role in formal documents, as Lisbon Treaty is, and this is the reason why we decided to dedicate this IATE Term of the Week on the key term of Article 50, which is withdrawal agreement. According to EUR-Lex glossary, withdrawal agreement is defined as a mechanism that is provided for the voluntary and unilateral withdrawal of a country from the European Union (EU).


But why the Lisbon Treaty is so important? Briefly, according to European Parliament’s website:

The Lisbon treaty, which came in force in late 2009, brought new law-making powers to the European Parliament and put it on an equal footing with the Council of Ministers in deciding what the EU does and how money is spent. It also changed the way the Parliament works with other institutions and gave MEPs more influence on who runs the EU. All these reforms ensured that by casting your vote in the European elections, you get to have an even greater say on where Europe is heading.

Article 50, according to which any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements, is part of this treaty. In brief, it describes how the EU and the withdrawing state need to negotiate a withdrawal agreement to define the country’s future relationship with the EU.

The term in IATE is defined as an agreement negotiated and concluded between the European Union and a Member State that has decided to withdraw from the Union, setting out the arrangements for the Member State’s withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.

Here you can see the entry for withdrawal agreement in IATE:


As you can see there are several missing languages, so maybe you could be the next one to help us improving IATE with a proposal in your mother tongue?

Contribute to IATE! Update this term in your language. A terminologist for the respective language will revise your answer and decide whether to validate them. Given the implications of the process, a delay is to be expected.

We hope by highlighting this key terminology in so fundamental formal papers every time, to help the clarification of our readers’ confusions, regarding the complex content of European Union Law texts.


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Written by  Katerina PalamiotiTranslator, Social Media and Content Manager, Communication Trainee and Foodie at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament.


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