The Possibility and Desirability of Economic Sanction: Rule of Law Conditionality Requirements Against Illiberal EU Member States
29 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2018
Date Written: 2018
The paper deals with the ways in which the European Union can and should cope with recent deviations from the shared values of rule of law, democracy, and fundamental rights, especially in some of the new Member States in East-Central Europe, such as Hungary and Poland, but also elsewhere. The paper first discusses the traditional legal tools, like infrigment procedures, which seemed to be ineffective, including the Article 7 procedure, finally triggered against Poland. As all of these tools, as well as the EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law proved to be ineffective, suggestions were made to link receipt of EU cohesion funds to respect for democratic principles. The paper assesses the legal possibilities and effectiveness of economic sanctions, and concludes that EU law does not exclude such conditionality and it can be desirable for the protection of the rule of law, democracy, and fundamental rights in Members States, which are non-compliant with basic values of the EU.
Keywords: Rule of law; Illiberal Member States of the EU; Infringement procedure; Article 2 and 7 TEU; Value conditionality
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