Breathing New Life into Old Values

The Commission’s new Rule of Law package might trigger the greatest progress since the introduction of Article 7

25 July 2019

The Juncker Commission changed the rules of the game for the EU’s autocrats; the question is whether or not the von der Leyen Commission will follow suit?

The violation of European values like rule of law became a menace for the Juncker Commission. Juncker and Timmermans struggled for five years with countries like Orbán’s Hungary or Kaczynski’s Poland with rather mixed results.

Jean-Claude Juncker

On one hand, the Commission challenged the undermining of judicial independence in Poland in a rather straightforward and effective way. On the other hand, it was soft on Hungary, partly due to the leading party’s membership in the EPP, which resulted in the country’s rather unopposed autocratisation.

However, desiring to leave behind a positive legacy, the Juncker Commission apparently decided for an impressive overhaul of its rule of law toolkit in the very last months of its tenure.

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Daniel Hegedüs

Rethink.CEE fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States

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