Rule of Law: Is the foundation of the EU eroding?

This event took place on the 8th of november. The recording of the conference appears below.

The EU is based on joint rules being applied consistently across its Member States. However, in recent years, the EU has experienced a rise in tensions over the rule of law as some EU Member States have seen a backsliding from common EU values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law (TEU art 2). The most recent example is the Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s opinion that the European Court of Justice has no competence to assess Polish judiciary and its functioning.

The European Commission as the enforcer of the Treaties has for a long time walked a fine line between voices in the European Parliament and some Member States who want the Commission to take further action and countries like Poland and Hungary who accuse the Commission of ‘double standards’. 

It is however becoming increasingly clear that there is no silver bullet. Stronger enforcement may backfire and contribute to further divisions in Europe between East and West. On the other hand, an uneven application of the rule of law may not only weaken the EU externally, but also pose a threat to the foundation of the EU itself – incl. to the EU’s Internal Market. For instance, an uneven application of EU rules may have negative consequences for Danish business.

This conference looked at the consequences of an uneven application of the rule of law for the EU’s Single Market, the importance of the rule of law for the EU’s Single Market and how to move on from here – including what it all means for Danish business. 


9.30 am - Welcome – moderator director of Think Tank Europa, Lykke Friis

9.35 am - The legal case for cutting EU funding for Hungary (Rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe) – Prof. John Morijn

9.55 am - Why is the EU so reluctant to act vis-à-vis backsliding countries and what is at stake for the EU if it continues? – Prof. Marlene Wind, University of Copenhagen

10.10 am - The importance of the Rule of Law for the functioning of the Internal Market – Partner in Gorrissen Federspiel, Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe

10.25 am - Q&A

PowerPoint slides can be downloaded to the left

Find the report The EU Commission has to Cut Funding to Hungary: The Legal Case by John Morijn, R. Daniel Kelemen and Kim Lane Scheppele


Tænketanken EUROPA indtager ikke holdninger som organisation. Denne tekst repræsenterer alene – som alle udgivelser fra Tænketanken EUROPA – forfatterens/forfatternes betragtninger.


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