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11 Iustinianus Primus L. Rev. 1 (2020)

handle is hein.journals/iusplr11 and id is 1 raw text is: Ilina Cenevska*

THE RULE OF LAW AS A PIVOTAL CONCEPT OF THE EU'S
POLITICO-LEGAL ORDER
Abstract ........................ ................. ............1  V.  Providing  the  necessary  guidance:  the  2019
I. Introduction............................................1 Commission communication 'further strengthening
II. The substance and scope of the rule of law as an  the rule of law within the union state of play and
EU  concept ........................................................2  possible  next steps ................. ... ...... ..9
III. The rule of law: a value or a principle?.........6  VI. How well-equipped is the EU in protecting the
IV. The essentials of the article 7 TEU Procedure.7  rule of law: a developing discussion ...............11
Abstract
In recent years, the EU Member States like Poland, Hungary, Romania and Malta have
experienced various kinds of rule of law backsliding processes which have threatened to
gradually erode these countries' democratic institutions established under the rule of law.
Moreover, the rise of populist movements and the growing nationalist tendencies in some of
these countries have added to an ever-growing rift in the relationship between Brussels and the
national governments. The persistence of rule of law eroding trends has become a compelling
post-accession reality for these Member States (which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007),
arguably undermining and being in open breach of the EU's fundamental values - most
pressingly and most acutely, the rule of law.
While this paper does not aim to pinpoint the causes and factors that have led to the foregoing
regressive trends (which are indeed manifold), its goal is rather to look in a more conceptual
manner at the rule of law as an overarching principle underpinning EU's legal and political
order. The paper will equally examine the mechanisms the European Union has at its disposal in
confronting the value erosion trends and inspect to what degree these mechanisms are effective
in tackling the rule of law backsliding processes.
Keywords: Rule of Law, EU values, EU membership, Article 7 TEU
I. INTRODUCTION
It is uniformly held that that the EU's fundamental values (most notably - democracy, rule of
law, and respect for human rights) are the EU's alpha-and-omega. They represent the
constitutional foundations of the EU as a value-based polity. What we are faced with today is an
unprecedented record of failure of certain EU Member States to respect the Union's core values,
a state of affairs that threatens to produce irreversible damage upon the Union's value-based
legal and political order. The developing trend of value-erosion undoubtedly compromises the
* Ilina Cenevska, PhD, Associate Professor, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Iustinianus Primus Law
Faculty, e-mail: i.cenevska@pf.ukim.edu.mk

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