Adding a Bite to a Bark? A Story of Article 7, the EU Enlargement, and Jörg Haider
37 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 4, 2010
The Article 7 mechanism of the Treaty on European Union fills a gap in the Union’s approach to human rights protection by setting up a system of early warning about the risk of breaches of rights in a member State, and of sanctions in the event of determination that such breaches have occurred. This working paper traces the history of discussions and decisions about incorporating this mechanism in the EU treaty system: I emphasize that, at each important stage of the evolution of this mechanism, the prospect of Eastward enlargement of the Union has played an important part. In the minds of the EU decision-makers, the new entrants from Central and Eastern Europe had to be seen with a degree of mistrust, as far as their commitments to human rights, democracy and the rule of law is concerned. In this way, somewhat ironically, the Eastward enlargement of the EU was an important impetus of supranational constitutionalisation of the Union.
Keywords: European Union, Treaty on European Union, European law, EU enlargement, Central and Eastern Europe, human rights
JEL Classification: K01. K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation