In its new methodology of the accession process, the EU has defined the rule-of-law as one of its fundamentals simnce 2020, underlining its importance as a core European value. All countries of the Western Balkan, despite reform efforts in the past and present, are struggling with organised crime and corruption, clientelism in their institutions, a weak judiciary and low trust of citizens in the system. The poor condition of the rule of law undermines the public’s trust in the effectiveness of democracy. In the long run, this can have disastrous effects on the democratic consolidation in the Western Balkans.
16 February 2022: the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rules against Hungary’s and Poland’s position on the Rule of Law Conditionality regulation. For the first time, the Court live-streams its ruling. This is more than just a ruling: the very essence of our Union was challenged. If we want to preserve our sacred values, we […]
The qualitative leap which was introduced in the European project in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis has brought higher levels of solidarity and cohesion. But there is still a long way to go. The speech of the president of the European Commission has outlined a few further steps, but many more need to be […]
The 2019 European elections finally saw the turnout going slightly up. In parallel, Social Democrats noted an unanticipated positive result. Almost two years into the legislative period, despite the pandemic, the polls consistently show two tendencies. First, Europeans tend to be positive about the EU in numbers comparable to before the 2008 crash. Second, progressives […]
If you hated Covid-19 in 2020, you will hate it more in 2021, under the Portuguese presidency of the EU Council. The mundane reason for this is that the period of presidency in the EU is not simply a time of pushing dossiers, dialogues and trilogues, but also one of visiting the country that holds […]
The Communication on EU-enlargement policy presented by the European Commission on 6 October is encouraging for the countries of the Western Balkans. Together with the EC’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and the Covid-19 recovery plan, it shows a great deal of goodwill. The country reports consist of concrete analyses based on […]