By Suzanne Rowe
Article 2 of the TEU states that the EU is “founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities”. It is considered that these values are common to all Member States and that any erosion of them threatens the very functioning of the Union itself (Lane Scheppele and Kelemen, 2020).
Over the last decade, the European Union has seen significant rule of law backsliding in several Member States, most notably Hungary and Poland, where concerns have been raised about the independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression and other rule of law issues. In this blog, it will be argued that the mechanisms used to date in attempting to deal with these matters have been largely ineffective and why the addition of rule of law conditionality is therefore crucial in addressing the slide in core EU values.