Europe's other democracy problem: The challenge of protecting democracy and the rule of law within EU member states

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Abstract

Jan-Werner MuÄller, a professor of politics at Princeton University, believes that the European institutions need more effective means of checking undemocratic behavior among its member states than just the idle threat of suspension. The new Copenhagen Commission should be empowered to investigate situations in potential 'rogue states', and then trigger a mechanism that sends a clear signal but which stops far short of the measures envisaged in Article 7. Following the advice of the Copenhagen Commission, the European Commission could be required to cut subsidies for infrastructure projects, for instance, or impose significant fines. The former might prove to be particularly effective if the EU budget as such were to be significantly increased in future years. At the same time, all existing tools should remain in place, member states could vote on Article 7, and the Commission could still take a member state to the European Court for infringement of the treaties. A commission should be staffed with legal experts as well as elder stateswomen and statesmen with a proven track record of political judgment. They should loosely monitor developments in the EU, drawing on help from the European Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency and other bodies, as they see fit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalJuncture
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations

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