024 A Pivotal European Value under Stress: The Rule of Law Crises and their Impact on EU’s Political Integration

The Role of Values in EU governance
Wednesday, July 12, 2017: 11:00 AM-12:40 PM
John McIntyre - Room 201 (University of Glasgow)
The rule of law is an elusive concept; as a value it generates political consensus on its basic definition, while engendering debates over its substantive features. The rule of law is political both in its origins and its implications. In EU politics, recent judicial reforms in Poland and Hungary have illustrated the challenges that the rule of law represents to the integration process. When the EU deals with questions related to the separation of power, the independence of judicial institutions or the organisation of the judiciary in its Member States it opens the Pandora box of resistances and oppositions to political and legal integration. Ironically, this shared value has increasingly become a source of political conflict. The rule of law is instrumentalized and politicized and any attempt to depoliticization leads to an increased politicization afterwards.

Drawing on recent judicial reforms in Poland and Hungary, this panel seeks to shed light on the tensions generated by EU’s attempt to govern the rule of law. It focuses on recent endeavors to create new tools and indicators to deal with rule of law crises at the EU level. Three interrelated set of questions are addresses: How and to what extent has the integration process altered the domestic meanings of the rule of law? How and to what extent do “thick” or “thin” understandings of the rule of law reshape EU’s current approach to govern this principle? Which discursive strategies legitimize new institutional models to safeguard the rule of law at the EU level?

François Foret
Discussant :
Ramona Coman
The EU: Still “Integration through Law”?
Sabine Saurugger, Sciences Po Grenoble
Defining a Multifaceted Concept in a Multifaceted Organization: The Council of Europe and the Safeguard of Rule of Law Principles
Cristina Dallara, University of Bologna; Bartolomeo Cappellina, Sciences Po Bordeaux