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RESILIO-Study: What makes the rule of law resilient? Evidence from EU27

denhans / Photocase
denhans / Photocase

There are many reasons for the resilience of the rule of law in the EU. A strong public administration and judiciary are at the heart of a solid rule of law.

The fundamental principles of the European Union, democracy and the rule of law, are currently being massively challenged. Hungary and Poland in particular have contributed to the emergence of a conflict over the EU's common identity as a community based on the rule of law.

The RESILIO study analysed the resilience of the rule of law in the EU and which factors within the individual member states influence the varying degrees of resilience to attacks on the rule of law. Based on a quantitative data analysis and its visualisation, the following conclusions can be drawn:

#1: The member states can be categorised into four different groups ("Top achievers", "High rule of law resilience", "Medium rule of law resilience" and "Low rule of law resilience");

#2: Although the average values of the individual countries are quite similar in the various dimensions, they differ even more in their constituent aspects. It should be noted that the independence of the media, public discourse and the organisation of the constitution still show clear weaknesses in some member states. In contrast, the quality of elections, party systems, state institutions and social cohesion were strong in many countries;

#3: Individual factors have a particularly strong influence, which is why they should be given a higher weighting within the individual countries. These include an efficient civil service that acts with integrity, a well-functioning, independent judiciary, an active, trust-based democratic citizenry, a public discourse based on mutual tolerance and an independent, diverse media.

The constitution, the political system and the institutions thus form the basis for a democracy based on the rule of law. A strong resilience of the rule of law requires a democratic political culture that enforces compliance and sanctions violations.

Team & authors

About the RESILIO – Resilience observatory on the rule of law in Europe project: Why are some democracies in the EU more resilient to the regressing rule of law than others? IEP will assess the resilience of all 27 member states using a systematic analytical framework in order to deliver counterstrategies to the regression of the rule of law.

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