In her blog post, our intern Aneta Navrátilová discusses the rule of law in the EU with regard to the European Commission Report and the situation in Hungary and Poland.
The rule of law is one of the fundamental values upon which the European Union is founded. It is enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and it is a prerequisite for the protection of all other EU values – including the fundamental rights and democratic principle. For the functioning of the Union itself, respect for the rule of law is essential.
From the report it is obvious that as far as justice systems are concerned, both Hungary and Poland are failing in providing for effective judicial protection and review in compliance with the EU law. The Commission, among other things, emphasizes that independence of the prosecution is a relevant issue for discussion as it has important implications for tackling crime and corruption. Poland is quite problematic in this regard as the Minister of Justice is simultaneously the Prosecutor General. This double role increases the vulnerability to political influence.
Two countries have been labelled, by various independent surveys on democracy and freedom, as those who oppose and violate the EU rule of law principles more and more. Therefore, it is obvious that these countries are unwilling to make a real change in their political and institutional set-ups as they still appear to be very defensive towards any statement describing their systems as undemocratic or totalitarian, even though the lines between ‘illiberal democracy’ and authoritarianism is blurred at best.
You can read the entire article here.