Hungary and Poland’s populist, nationalist governments are turning their backs on democratic values and rule of law. Thus far, the European Union has failed to forcefully counter the two member states’ violation of core EU principles. But, as Heather Grabbe and Stefan Lehne of Carnegie Europe argue, a continued slide into authoritarianism does not only put the political futures of these two European nations at risk. By acquiescing to Poland and Hungary’s disregard of EU laws and values, the EU undermines its own legal foundations – and, ultimately, the European Union’s raison d’etre.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why EU member states have hesitated to condemn authoritarian policies in Hungary and Poland
- Why a strong, cohesive EU depends on all member states upholding the rule of law
About the Authors
Heather Grabbe is the director of the Open Society European Policy Institute. Stefan Lehne is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels.
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European Commission, 2017