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!

IMAGE CREDITS: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

7 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    At least Rule of law and good governance should prevail

  2. avatar

    Can you please first specify which kind of Democracy is our topic here? To follow up, if its the Representative Democracy we have today we are discussing, is that a democratic enough regime to be even considered a type Democracy?

  3. avatar
    EU Reform Proactive

    What is the Rule of Law?

    “The rule of law is an important component of sustaining peace, as advanced by the General Assembly and Security Council in the twin resolutions on the review of the peacebuilding architecture. Sustaining peace requires an integrated and comprehensive approach across the UN system, based on coherence between political, security, development, human rights, gender equality and rule of law activities in support of Member State-led efforts.”

    China is described as “a country under the rule of law”

    How similar is a “fazhi (“fashion-able”?) EU” on their way “under the rule of EU law” to China?

    China: “socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics”-
    EU: “socialistic rule of law with EU characteristics”?

    Is national democracy (see “UN members states”- not EU members states) broken or to be broken?

    I suggest using “law” & democracy” that “liberally” calls for vigilance!

  4. avatar

    L’estat de dret l’entenem com l’estat on lleis, forces policials i govern són independents i no hi ha corretges de transmissió. Justament el que no és Espanya en relació a la seva dissidència, començant per Catalunya.

    • avatar

      Catalunya és l’exponent viu de com una Europa dels estats ofega les aspiracions democràtiques d’una nació amb set-cents anys d’història. Europa es fa forta darrera els estats mur però aquesta Europa té data de caducitat. No es pot anar en contra de la història i de la vida.

  5. avatar

    Democracy is broken because Europe as joined the US i.e. the NATO to use democracy as a political tool to buttress American control of EU rather than taking the opportunity to regaining Europe’s sovereignty and independence after the end of the Cold War. Russia is always a member of the European family but EU has view it an enemy and drawing external power to attack Russia. In a Chinese perspective, family members should use peaceful means to solve disputes. But Europe has been inviting foreign power far away from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to beat up its own family member, Russia. In addition, tiny state Lithuania is helping the US to encourage Taiwan separatism. Lithuania trying to challenge a mammoth country China is risking to drag EU into political confrontation with China. Even worse, might be forcing China to resume sovereign control of Taiwan by force. If the US has joined Taiwan to fight against China, EU is obliged to join the military conflict under the NATO treaty. When Europe has not able to control the Covid-19 and economic recovery failed to start, at this critical moment when the people are relying on political leaders to guide and the state to protect, politicians deliberately challenge two big powers at both end of Eurasia for an remote falling great power at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, this is suicidal. How can we call Europe a democracy if political decision is made to risk well beings of the people?

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