The European Union is founded on the values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights (Article 2 TEU). Yet, some Member States threaten this common basis. Such threats include governmental interference with the judiciary or restrictions of media freedom (Poland, Hungary), endemic corruption (Romania, Bulgaria) or weak institutions (Greece). The Institute is investigating how the European Union can respond to these challenges. In 2012, it developed the “Reverse Solange” approach to address systemic infringements of fundamental rights. Subsequently it developed the concept of "systemic deficiencies" to better frame such developments. The most recent research fasts forward and asks: what would happen once the Polish or Hungarian people decides to "throw the scoundrels out"? Any new government that intends to restore its legal system in line with European values will face obstacles, such as packed courts or constitutional entrenchments. This project assesses how European institutions can enable, support and empower such democratic transitions.
The edited volume, "Transition 2.0. Re-establishing Constitutional Democracy in an EU-Member State", edited by Michal Bobek, Adam Bodnar, Armin von Bogdandy and Pál Sonnevend is going to be published with Nomos in September 2023!
Dimitri Spieker's new book "EU Values Before the Court of Justice. Foundations, Potential, Risks" has been published with Oxford University Press. The book is based on his dissertation which he completed between 2018 and 2021 under the supervision of Armin von Bogdandy.
Armin von Bogdandy and Dimitri Spieker were invited to speak at the Conference "The Rule of Law in the EU: Crisis and Solutions" organized by SIEPS in Stockholm on 17 and 18 April 2023. On a panel with András Sajó and Iain Cameron, Armin von Bogdandy explored how to restore the rule of law in EU Member States. Dimitri Spieker disucssed with Monica Claes and Allan Rosas how to go beyond the rule of law and also protect other EU values, in particular the value of democracy.
An anthology of essays by the conference speakers is available here.[mehr]
Two workshops in cooperation with Adam Bodnar, Pál Sonnevend and Michal Bobek in Heidelberg from 30 June to 1 July 2022 and from 16 to 17 March 2023
The workshop fasts forward to the next Hungarian and Polish elections. Assuming that a new government is elected and assuming that this new government wants to restore its legal system in line with the European rule of law, we ask: “what comes next”? The program is organized in four parts. The first part aims at a better understanding of what went wrong in the first place. The second part will discuss to facilitate democratic transitions in substance, i.e. how to deal will the finality of judicial decisions, appointments to independent institutions or laws that can only be amended by a super-majority. The third part will discuss processes and institutions that might support these transition processes, such as as the Venice Commission or the European courts.
Workshop in cooperation with the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study) in Berlin from 10 to 11 January 2019
Conference in cooperation with the University of Warsaw in Warsaw from 14 to 15 September 2017
Conference in cooperation with the University of Warsaw in Heidelberg from 28 to 30 June 2017