Rule of Law in Central and Eastern Europe

38 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2013

See all articles by Frank Emmert

Frank Emmert

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2008


Pursuant to the same logic that prevailed when Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman reached out to Germany after the end of World War II, and in keeping with the promise made in the Preamble of the founding treaty, the EU reached out to Central and Eastern Europe after the end of the Cold War and offered integration. In recognition of the difficulties for the EU on the one side of absorbing a large number of countries without jeopardizing the functioning of the institutions, and the difficulties for the Central and Eastern European Countries ("CEECs") on the other side of transforming themselves into modern democracies with rule of law and functioning market economies, a number of pre-conditions for accession and a number of support schemes for the transformation were established. The present Article analyzes those pre-conditions that were supposed to promote the development of Rule of Law, as well as those schemes that were intended to support this development. It concludes that first, the concept of "rule of law," although often quoted, is poorly defined and understood and this is an obstacle for countries aspiring to build a system based on rule of law. Second, Western support for the transformation in Central and Eastern Europe was and continues to be a combination of trial and error with a lack of appreciation of historic precedent and lessons. Most importantly, the article offers and justifies a more inclusive and detailed definition of Rule of Law than otherwise in use.

Keywords: Rule of Law, EU Enlargement, EU Accession, Central and Eastern Europe, Administrative and Court Reform, Law Reform

JEL Classification: F02, F15, H10, K20, K40, L51, O19, O52, P30

Suggested Citation

Emmert, Frank, Rule of Law in Central and Eastern Europe (March 1, 2008). Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2008, Available at SSRN:

Frank Emmert (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

Inlow Hall IN 335
530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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