Poland and the EU are locked in a bitter battle over the rule of law. At stake is something so fundamental to both sides: the meaning and exercise of sovereignty.
Jan Litynski, a leading dissident under Poland’s communist regime and later a passionate defender of the rule of law, will be buried on March 10 in Warsaw. The values and principles he fought for are now under threat more than ever before.
Smaller EU countries are punching above their weight in defending values and supporting pro-democracy forces in the EU’s neighborhood. They are preparing for the day after in Minsk and Moscow.
The storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump should be enough of a warning. EU leaders must speak up about the fragility of their own democracy and democratic institutions in Europe.
If the European Union does not protect its rule of law and tackle corruption, the democratic backsliding of Hungary and Poland will deal a devastating blow to Europe’s achievements since World War II.
Hungary and Poland have vetoed the next EU budget in protest of a new rule-of-law conditionality. What instruments and treaties can Europe use to circumvent Budapest and Warsaw’s hostage-taking?
Hungary and Poland are blocking an EU recovery package designed to overcome the deep economic crisis of Europe caused by the coronavirus. Only the political will of EU leaders can stop them.
The European Commission’s new report on the rule of law fails in three areas. To fight corruption and the abuse of power, the EU must use funds and sanctions strategically.
The coronavirus pandemic has revived demands for a human-centric approach to security. In Europe’s east, this means strengthening healthcare systems and building more resilient societies while managing threats such as geopolitical rivalries, conflicts in areas of limited statehood, and cyber warfare.
Neither values nor geopolitics played any role when EU leaders agreed to spend their way out of the coronavirus crisis at a marathon summit. Once again, Europe as a strategic player has been postponed.*