In the last decade, it has become increasingly clear that respect for the rule of law has weakened. This situation is called a crisis because the potential consequences are serious for the EU as a system: what is at stake is the smooth functioning of the Union, its credibility vis-à-vis its citizens and the wider world; its very identity as a club of prosperous, functioning democracies. The EU has for some years been trying to solve these problems using political, legal, and financial tools. However, these attempts have thus far come to little.
In April 2022 SIEPS co-organised a major conference on the topic. This collection of essays by conference speakers discusses the present state of the rule of law in the EU and its possible futures. The authors consider the actions already taken to address the crisis and consider what more could or should be done. Paying attention areas that have not been extensively discussed, previously, it seeks to draw lessons from past experiences and chart a concrete path for future action.
- Koen Lenaerts argues for the importance of values, structures, and checks and balances in upholding the rule of law.
- Essays by Daniel Kelemen, Dimitry Kochenov and Andreas Moberg consider the use of Article 7 TEU, the treaty article intended to protect the EU’s fundamental values.
- Contributions by Kim Lane Scheppele and John Morijn, Anna Wójcik, Xavier Groussot and Anna Zemskova examine the effectiveness of the attempts to foster compliance using financial tools.
- Ian Manners considers the external dimensions of the crisis, setting it in the context of a rising wave of autocracy around the world.
- In their contributions, Armin von Bogdandy and András Sajó discuss how the rule of law might be restored.
- Three essays, by Monica Claes, Luke Dimitrios Spieker and Allan Rosas, focus on how to defend the other fundamental EU values, in particular democracy and human rights.
- Finally, Jane Reichel suggests that a new approach is needed to the rule of administrative law, and Joakim Nergelius describes the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The collection is edited by Anna Södersten and Edwin Hercock.