Should the EU Protect Democracy and the Rule of Law Inside Member States?

20 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015

See all articles by Jan‐Werner Müller

Jan‐Werner Müller

Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

Against the background of recent developments in Hungary, the article discusses the question whether the European Union ought to play a role in protecting liberal democracy in Member States. First, it is argued that the EU has the authority to do so, both in a broad normative sense and in a narrower legal sense (though the latter is more likely to be disputed). The article then asks whether the EU has the capacity to establish a supranational militant democracy; here it is argued that at the moment both appropriate legal instruments and plausible political strategies are missing. To remedy this situation, the article proposes a new democracy watchdog, analogous to, but more powerful than, the Venice Commission. Finally, it is asked whether EU interventions would provoke a nationalist backlash. There is insufficient evidence to decide this question, but the danger of such a backlash probably tend to be overestimated.

Suggested Citation

Müller, Jan‐Werner, Should the EU Protect Democracy and the Rule of Law Inside Member States? (March 2015). European Law Journal, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 141-160, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2573368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eulj.12124

Jan‐Werner Müller (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States

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