An EU Mechanism on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights
CEPS Paper in Liberty and Security in Europe
247 Pages Posted: 21 May 2016
Date Written: April 21, 2016
The European Union is founded on a set of common principles of democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights, as enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union. Whereas future Member States are vetted for their compliance with these values before they accede to the Union, no similar method exists to supervise adherence to these foundational principles after accession. EU history proved that this ‘Copenhagen dilemma’ was far from theoretical. EU Member State governments’ adherence to foundational EU values cannot be taken for granted. Violations may happen in individual cases, or in a systemic way, which may go as far as overthrowing the rule of law. Against this background the European Parliament initiated a Legislative Own-Initiative Report on the establishment of an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights and proposed among others a Scoreboard on the basis of common and objective indicators by which foundational values can be measured. This Research Paper assesses the need and possibilities for the establishment of an EU Scoreboard, as well as its related social, economic, legal and political ‘costs and benefits’.
Keywords: European Union, EU, democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights
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