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Protecting the rule of law: The case of Poland

Pawel Czerwinski / Unsplash
Pawel Czerwinski / Unsplash

The new budget conditionality mechanism opens pathways to effectively curbing democratic backsliding in the EU. Making use of its proclaimed "Zeitenwende", Germany should use its leverage and take a more pro-active approach – as in the case of Poland – to defend the rule of law.

Facing repeated breaches of the rule of law in recent years, the EU has developed a more systemic toolbox to tackle democratic backsliding. Attaching conditionality to the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU recovery plan inspires hope to finally curb these tendencies and heal European democracy. Yet, the problem lies not in the availability of instruments, but in the political will to use them with full force.

Taking the dispute between Poland and the EU as an example, Dr. Maria Skóra delivers ideas on how to improve the effectiveness of the existing rule of law toolbox in the future. She calls for more decisive action at the EU level. Rule of law violations must be curbed in a consequent manner. Otherwise, the EU loses credibility and jeopardizes its further integration. Moreover, she pleads for more engagement of individual member states. Germany, for example, could gain momentum of the "Zeitenwende", its newly recalibrated foreign policy approach, to mobilize normative pressure in order to impede further deterioration of the rule of law standards in the EU.

Team & authors

About the Berlin Perspectives project: The IEP Policy Brief series Berlin Perspectives presents precise analyses on Germany’s European policy to an English-speaking audience. The authors analyse German European policy positions on current topics and debates to provide policy recommendations based on their findings.

Image copyright: Pawel Czerwinski / Unsplash