PROJECT TITLECrisis of the rule of law in the EU. Special reference to Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Estonia, Spain and Italy and to the incidence of the pandemic
LINEEuropean Studies & International Relations
TYPEUCH CEU internal project
DATESOctober 2023 – August 2024
NO. OF MONTHS10 months
PROJECT PISusana Sanz Caballero
MEMBERS AND CENTERSSusana Sanz Caballero. CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Valencia)
Manuel Martínez Sospedra. CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Valencia)
Leopoldo García Ruiz. CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Valencia)
Marta Pérez Gabaldón. CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Valencia)
Joaquín Marco Marco. CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Valencia)
Nuria Hernández García. CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Valencia)
Carlos González Tormo. CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Valencia)
Almudena Del Castillo Santamaría. CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Valencia)
The EU is going through a crisis that underlies the questioning of the values on which it is based. These values are set out in the TEU and include respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, equality and respect for minorities. The pandemic only exacerbated non-compliance in some states where these values were already being violated, as well as spreading attacks on the rule of law in others.
The project explores the degree of democratic affectation, the risks of the observed trends and possible future scenarios. The project will also provide possible legal and political solutions to this crisis of the rule of law in terms of possible mechanisms that the EU is and could arbitrate against this dangerous drift.

However, the scope of the task is too large. The project has therefore selected six EU member states. The selection includes both Southern European countries – one of them a founding member of the EU (Italy and Spain) – and more recent partners from Central and Eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland, Estonia and Croatia).
Regarding the attacks on the rule of law analyzed, they coincide with those identified by the European Commission in its Rule of Law report: judicial independence, freedom of information and media, the fight against corruption and other checks and balances.

The study is chronologically bounded from 2010 onwards because that is when policies and measures systematically contrary to EU principles and values began to be perceived.

As possible solutions, special attention will be paid to the effectiveness, among others, of several recent measures: the impact of the new European Commission Report on the rule of law (preventive mechanism, annual cycle) and the conditionality of the distribution of European funds to compliance with the values of Art. 2 TEU.
The increasing use by the Commission of infringement proceedings in the event of non-compliance by the Member States will also be studied, as well as the preliminary rulings by domestic judges denouncing attacks on the rule of law.
Given the certainty of the difficulty of applying Art. 7 TEU in its current wording, we will explore the possibility of proposing an additional protocol to the TEU with which a member could be sanctioned without the need for a unanimous vote; among others. Attention will also be paid to the work of the ECtHR and other Council of Europe bodies in upholding the rule of law.