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.