One of the fundamental principles of the European Union is the rule of law. Ultimately, countries which do not comply with the principle of rule of law are not permitted to join the bloc. Yet what happens when those countries decide, after EU accession, to dismantle their constitutional state?
For years, Hungary and Poland have come to blows with the EU over the issue of rule of law. Yet according to a recently published report by the European Commission, they are not the only ones at risk of backsliding democratically. Dialogue and warnings seem to have little impact. Therefore, the European institutions are currently discussing whether or not to link rule of law issues to tougher financial sanctions (particularly when it comes to the EU’s long-term budget and coronavirus recovery plans). Would this be the best way to preserve and protect democracy in Europe?
On Thursday 12 November at 12:00 CET, we will be streaming an online Citizens’ Panel discussing the issue of European democracy. We invited Michal Šimečka, MEP, Vice-President of the Renew Europe Group and European Parliament Rapporteur for an EU Mechanism on Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, to discuss the state of democracy in Europe.
You can watch the stream here or on our Facebook page.
Is democracy broken? How would you fix it? Should EU funds be linked to rule of law issues? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!