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Rule of Law and State Reform in Greece


Armin von Bogdandy

Über das Projekt:

As the crisis that started in 2010 has revealed, the problems of Greece are not only financial but also institutional. The administration and the judiciary necessary for an efficient modern state and a sustainable Eurozone economy are not in place. The European institutions, the IMF, and the Greek government all agree that the law in Greece often lacks steering power and that institutions are too weak. The length of court proceedings, corruption, insufficient administrative expertise, and the lack of coordination are systemic problems.

These institutional deficiencies are so grave that they amount to a rule of law problem. This project addresses the weakness of Greek institutions from the perspective of the EU value of the rule of law, enshrined in Article 2 TEU. Unlike other contemporary challenges to the rule of law, like those in Hungary and Poland, the problems of Greece do not result from a form of governmental heavy-handedness but from institutional weakness.

The project has an analytical and a normative part. The descriptive part seeks to capture institutional weakness though the lens of EU constitutional law, and more concretely the value of the rule of law. The normative part suggests a concrete way of addressing such rule-of-law deficiencies by the EU. The Greek institutions need highly qualified personnel committed to the cause of reforming the Greek state. Such persons could be recruited with EU help and given key positions, with the corresponding working arrangements. Candidates can be found in Greece and, especially, in the Greek diaspora. The project investigates different configurations to practically implement this idea. Recruitment could be carried out in accordance with the established competitive procedures of the European Commission, for example within the framework of the “Structural Reform Support Service” set up in 2015.



Michael Ioannidis

Op-eds and blogposts




  • von Bogdandy, Armin: Το κράτος δικαίου σε κρίση: Πως μπορεί η ΕΕ να ενισχύσει αδύναμους θεσμούς [The rule of law in crisis: How can the EU support weak institutions?]. In: Νομικό Βήμα 65 (2017).
  • Ioannidis, Michael: Weak Members and the Enforcement of EU law. In: The Enforcement of EU law and Values, A Jakab (Hrsg.). Oxford University Press, Oxford 2017, 476-492. Buch verfügbar hier
  • von Bogdandy, Armin: Das systemische Defizit. Merkmale, Instrumente und Probleme am Beispiel der Rechtsstaatlichkeit und des neuen Rechtsstaatlichkeitsaufsichtsverfahrens. In: Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht 74/2, 283-328 (2014). Online Version
  • von Bogdandy, Armin von: Systemic deficiency in the rule of law: What it is, what has been done, what can be done. In: Common Market Law Review 51/1, 59-96 (2014). Online Version