The "Rule of Law Crisis" of the EU As Disintegrative Phenomenon

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 656A (University of Glasgow)
Annegret Eppler , Department of Political Science, University of Innsbruck
The paper classifies the so called "rule of law crisis" of the EU as a disintegrative moment and asks how it is interrelated to other integrative and disintegrative dynamics in the EU system. Firstly, it clarifies a bidirectional and multidimensional "concept" (Goertz) of European integration: processes of integration and disintegration can occur simultaneously, and that their results can be measured with the help of the same indicators (Lindberg and Scheingold; cf. also Wallace; Maurer and Wessels). Moreover, it is assumed that processes of (dis-)integration proceed not only in a political, but also in an economic and a social dimension (Haas, Deutsch, Friedrich, Nye). Secondly, the paper analyses how integration in a multi-level rule-of-law system went on over decades (primary law: Art. 2, 7, 49 TEU, Charter of Fundamental Rights; jurisdiction of EJC: esp. primacy of EU law). Thirdly, national resistances against (jurisdiction of the national courts over decades) and backlashes from (reduction of rule of law systems in Hungary, Romania, Poland) integration in a common rule of law system are analysed. Fourth, the paper discusses the opportunities and inabilities of EU organs to react (Art. 7 TEU; EJC´s possibilities; EP´s arena function; Commission´s "justice scoreboard" (2013) and "new mechanism" (2014) as well as the reaction of the Council, on the Commission; Council´s "new dialogue on the rule of law" (2015)). Fifth, correlations of  disintegrative trends in the legal dimension of european integration with dynamics in other dimensions of integration (number of Member States; EU-skeptic parties, inter-institutional interferences, economic developments) are analysed.