Can the Enlargement Drive Help the EU Strengthen Its Own Democracy?

Reforms are necessary to reverse veto powers which render sanctions and rule-of-law penalties largely useless

6 December 2023

Visegrad countries should champion sensible reforms that complement the EU’s strategic agenda, buttress the rule of law and reverse the democratic backsliding evermore present on the continent.

If you were to take a snapshot in late 2023, it would be hard to tell whether democracy and the rule of law – founding values of the European Union – are advancing or retreating across the continent.

European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders takes the long view and argues that Europe has experienced the greatest extension of democratic security in its history since the late 1940s, largely due to the creation and expansion of the EU under the protection of the United States and NATO.

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Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor, a contributing editor at POLITICO, writes the “Europe At Large” column. He is also a senior fellow at the think-tank Friends of Europe.

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