The Triangular Relationship between Fundamental Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law in the EU - Towards an EU Copenhagen Mechanism

15-10-2013

This study examines the triangular relationship between fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law in the EU and the challenges that arise in reflecting on ways to strengthen EU competences in these terrains. It analyses the current ‘state of play’ and provides a map of EU-level mechanisms assessing respect for rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, and Article 2 TEU general principles, by EU Member States. Special attention is paid to crosscutting dilemmas affecting the operability and effective implementation of these principles. The study thinks ahead and offers possible ‘ways forward’ in EU policy-making for ensuring a more optimal respect, protection and promotion of the Union’s principles by Member States and the EU. It proposes the creation of a new supervisory mechanism – the Copenhagen mechanism – to effectively address the current rule of law deficits facing the concept of ‘democratic rule of law with fundamental rights’ in the Union.

This study examines the triangular relationship between fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law in the EU and the challenges that arise in reflecting on ways to strengthen EU competences in these terrains. It analyses the current ‘state of play’ and provides a map of EU-level mechanisms assessing respect for rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, and Article 2 TEU general principles, by EU Member States. Special attention is paid to crosscutting dilemmas affecting the operability and effective implementation of these principles. The study thinks ahead and offers possible ‘ways forward’ in EU policy-making for ensuring a more optimal respect, protection and promotion of the Union’s principles by Member States and the EU. It proposes the creation of a new supervisory mechanism – the Copenhagen mechanism – to effectively address the current rule of law deficits facing the concept of ‘democratic rule of law with fundamental rights’ in the Union.

Externe auteur

Sergio Carrera (Centre for European Policy Studies - CEPS, Brussels, Belgium), Elspeth Guild (CEPS , Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands , Queen Mary University of London, the UK) and Nicholas Hernanz (CEPS) , Thematic contributions by: Cinzia Alcidi (CEPS), Matthias Busse (CEPS), Roger Errera (former member of the Conseil d’Etat in France , Central European University, Budapest, Hungary), Ivanka Ivanova (Open Society Institute – OSI, Sofia, Bulgaria), Jeffrey Jowell (University College London , Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, London, the UK) and Nikolaus Marsch (University of Freiburg, Breisgau, Germany)