For a long time considered, improperly, a sort of ‘nuclear’ option, Article 7 TEU is the key EU Treaty provision in the field of values enforcement. In the context of the Union’s current rule of law crisis, such a provision deserves the greatest attention, especially after the European Commission’s proposal in December 2017 to trigger the procedure against Poland, under Article 7(1) TEU. This article contributes to understandings of the provision by reviewing its main features and contextualising its deployment in the general Polish rule of law crisis, with the aim of evaluating whether it can now be considered as an operational instrument for values enforcement. Although the Commission’s (late) decision to activate the Article 7(1) TEU procedure should be welcomed as a major effort in restoring the rule of law within the European Union, the (perceived and real) limits of Article 7 TEU and the inertia of the EU institutions cast a shadow over the procedure’s effective implementation.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
• Ahtisaari Martti Frowein Jochen and Oreja Marcelino 2001 ‘Report on the Austrian government’s commitment to the common European values in particular concerning the rights of minorities refugees and immigrants and the evolution of the political nature of the FPÖ (the wise men report)’ International Legal Materials XL(1): 102–123.
• Barroso José Manuel 2012 State of the Union address Speech 12/256 Strasbourg 12 September 2012 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-12-596_en.htm.
• Besselink Leonard 2017 The Bite the Bark and the Howl: Article 7 and the Rule of Law Initiatives in in Jakab András and Kochenov Dimitry (eds) The Enforcement of EU Law against the Member States: Methods against Defiance OUP Oxford 128-144.
• Bieber Roland and Maiani Francesca 2014 ‘Enhancing centralized enforcement of EU law: Pandora’s toolbox?’ Common Market Law Review LI(4): 1057–1092.
• Black Ian and Connolly Kate 2000 ‘EU leaders urged to keep Haider out’ The Guardian 29 January 2000 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/jan/29/ianblack.kateconnolly.
• Bodalska Barbara 2018 ‘Baltic states against EU sanctions on Poland’ Euractiv 13 March 2018 https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/baltic-states-against-eu-sanctions-on-poland/.
• Bonelli Matteo 2017 ‘Not little not late: notes on the Commission’s activation of Article 7 against Poland’ [blog] Law Blogs Maastricht 28 December 2017 https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/blog/2017/12/not-little-not-late-notes-commission’s-activation-article-7-against-poland.
• Bugaric Bojan 2016 ‘Protecting democracy inside the EU: on article 7 TEU and the Hungarian turn to authoritarianism’ in Closa Carlos and Kochenov Dimitry (eds) Reinforcing Rule of Law Oversight in the European Union OUP Oxford 82-102.
• De Búrca Gráinne 2004 ‘Beyond the Charter: How Enlargement Has Enlarged the Human Rights Policy of the European Union’ Fordham International Law Journal XXVII: 679-714.
• Closa Carlos 2016 ‘Reinforcing EU Monitoring of the Rule of Law: Normative Arguments Institutional Proposals and Procedural Limitations’ in Closa Carlos and Kochenov Dimitry (eds) Reinforcing Rule of Law Oversight in the European Union OUP Oxford 15-35.
• De La Baume Maïa and Herszenhorn David M. 2018a ‘Juncker and Selmayr fight Timmermans on behalf of Poland’ Politico 6 June 2018 https://www.politico.eu/article/jean-claude-juncker-martin-selmayr-fight-frans-timmermans-on-behalf-of-poland/.
• De La Baume Maïa and Herszenhorn David M. 2018b ‘EU unpersuaded by Poland’s defense at rule-of-law hearing’ Politico 27 June 2018 https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-unpersuaded-by-polands-defense-at-rule-of-law-hearing/.
• ‘Enforcing the rule of law in the EU In the name of whom?’ 2016 Editorial Comments European Papers I(3): 771-776.
• Foy Henry 2016 ‘Jaroslaw Kaczynski: Poland’s kingmaker’ Financial Times 26 February 2016 https://www.ft.com/content/8238e15a-db46-11e5-a72f-1e7744c66818.
• Gliszczyńska-Grabias Aleksandra and Kozłowski Wojciech 2018 ‘Calling Murders by Their Names as Criminal Offence – a Risk of Statutory Negationism in Poland’ [blog] VerfBlog 1 February 2018 https://verfassungsblog.de/calling-murders-by-their-names-as-criminal-offence-a-risk-of-statutory-negationism-in-poland/.
• Guastaferro Barbara 2012 Beyond the Exceptionalism of Constitutional Conflicts: The Ordinary Functions of the Identity Clause Jean Monnet Working Paper No 1.
• Kochenov Dimitry 2017 Busting the myths nuclear: A commentary on article 7 TEU EUI Working Papers No. 10.
• Kochenov Dimitry and Pech Laurent 2015 ‘Monitoring and Enforcement of the Rule of Law in the EU: Rhetoric and Reality’ European Constitutional Law Review XI(3): 512-540.
• Kochenov Dimitry Pech Laurent and Scheppele Kim Lane 2017 ‘The European Commission’s Activation of Article 7: Better Late than Never?’ [blog] VerfBlog 23 December 2017 http://verfassungsblog.de/the-european-commissions-activation-of-article-7-better-late-than-never/.
• Koncewicz Tomasz Tadeusz 2016a ‘Polish Constitutional Tribunal goes down with dignity’ [blog] VerfBlog 25 August 2016 https://verfassungsblog.de/polish-constitutional-tribunal-goes-down-with-dignity.
• Koncewicz Tomasz Tadeusz 2016b ‘Constitutional Capture in Poland 2016 and Beyond: What is Next?’ [blog] VerfBlog 19 December 2016 https://verfassungsblog.de/constitutional-capture-in-poland-2016-and-beyond-what-is-next/.
• Lachmayer Konrad 2017 ‘Questioning the Basic Values - Austria and Jörg Haider’ in Jakab András and Kochenov Dimitry (eds) The enforcement of EU law and values: ensuring member states’ compliance OUP Oxford 436-445.
• Lazzerini Nicole 2018 ‘Le recenti iniziative delle istituzioni europee nel contesto della crisi dello Stato di diritto in Polonia: prove di potenziamento degli “anticorpi” dei Trattati?’ Osservatorio Sulle Fonti no. 1/2018: 1-21.
• Magyar Balint 2016 Post-Communist Mafia State: The Case of Hungary CEU Press Budapest.
• Magyar Balint 2017 ‘The EU’s Mafia State’ Project Syndicate 21 June 2017 https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/orban-hungary-mafia-state-by-balint-magyar-2017-06?barrier=accessreg#comments.
• Matczak Marcin 2017 ‘President Duda is Destroying the Rule of Law instead of Fixing it’ [blog] VerfBlog 29 September 2017 https://verfassungsblog.de/president-duda-is-destroying-the-rule-of-law-instead-of-fixing-it/.
• Mori Paola 2016 ‘Il rispetto dello Stato di diritto: “affari interni” o questione europea? I nuovi meccanismi di controllo dell’Unione alla prova della Polonia’ federalismi.it no. 25/2016 www.federalismi.it.
• Müller Jan-Werner 2011 ‘Should Brussels resist Hungary’s “Putinization”? Or do EU member states have a “democratic over-ride”?’ openDemocracy 30 December 2011 https://www.opendemocracy.net/jan-werner-mueller/should-brussels-resist-hungarys-’putinization’-or-do-eu-member-states-have-’democ.
• Pech Laurent 2015 ‘The EU as a global rule of promoter: the consistency and effectiveness challenges’ Asia Europe Journal XIV(1): 7-24.
• Pech Laurent 2016 ‘Commission Opinion of 1 June 2016 regarding the Rule of Law in Poland’ [blog] EU Law Analysis 19 August 2016 http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.be/2016/08/commission-opinion-of-1-june-2016.html.
• Pech Laurent and Scheppele Kim Lane 2017a ‘Poland and the European Commission Part II: Hearing the Siren Song of the Rule of Law’ [blog] VerfBlog 6 January 2017 http://verfassungsblog.de/poland-and-the-european-commission-part-ii-hearing-the-siren-song-of-the-rule-of-law/.
• Pech Laurent and Scheppele Kim Lane 2017b ‘Poland and the European Commission Part III: Requiem for the Rule of Law’ [blog] VerfBlog 3 March 2017 http://verfassungsblog.de/poland-and-the-european-commission-part-iii-requiem-for-the-rule-of-law/.
• Pinelli Cesare 2012 Protecting the Fundamentals: Article 7 of the Treaty on the European Union and Beyond Foundation for European Progressive Studies No. 7.
• Sadurski Wojciech 2010 Adding a Bite to a Bark? A story of Article 7 the EU Enlargement and Jörg Haider Legal Studies Research Paper No 10/01 Sydney Law School.
• Sadurski Wojciech 2018 ‘Who will Count the Votes in Poland?’ [blog] VerfBlog 26 February 2018 https://verfassungsblog.de/who-will-count-the-votes-in-poland/.
• Scheppele Kim Lane 2014 ‘Making Infringement Procedures More Effective: A Comment on Commission v. Hungary Case C-288/12’ [blog] Eutopialaw 29 April 2014 https://eutopialaw.com/2014/04/29/making-infringement-procedures-more-effective-a-comment-on-commission-v-hungary-case-c-28812-8-april-2014-grand-chamber/.
• Scheppele Kim Lane 2016 ‘Can Poland be Sanctioned by the EU? Not Unless Hungary is Sanctioned Too’ [blog] VerfBlog 24 October 2016 https://verfassungsblog.de/can-poland-be-sanctioned-by-the-eu-not-unless-hungary-is-sanctioned-too/.
• Starski Paulina 2016 ‘The Power of the Rule of Law: The Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s Forceful Reaction’ VerfBlog 17 March 2016 https://verfassungsblog.de/the-power-of-the-rule-of-law-the-polish-constitutional-tribunals-forceful-reaction/.
• ‘The Rule of Law in the Union the Rule of Union Law and the Rule of Law by the Union: Three interrelated problems’ 2016 Editorial Comments Common Market Law Review LIII(3): 597-605.
• Timmermans Frans 2017 Opening remarks on the Rule of Law in Poland at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties Justice and Home Affairs Brussels 7 November 2017.
• von Bogdandy Armin 2016 ‘How to protect European Values in the Polish Constitutional Crisis’ [blog] VerfBlog 31 March 2016 http://verfassungsblog.de/how-to-protect-european-values-in-the-polish-constitutional-crisis/.
• von Bogdandy Armin et al. 2012 ‘A Rescue Package for EU Fundamental Rights – Illustrated with Reference to the Example of Media Freedom’ [blog] VerfBlog 15 February 2012 https://verfassungsblog.de/a-rescue-package-for-eu-fundamental-rights-illustrated-with-reference-to-the-example-of-media-freedom/.
• von Bogdandy Armin and Ioannidis Michael 2014 ‘Systemic Deficiency in the Rule of Law: What It Is What Has Been Done What Can Be Done’ Common Market Law Review LI(1): 59-96.
• von Bogdandy Armin and Schill Stephan 2011 ‘Overcoming absolute primacy: respect for national identity under the Lisbon Treaty’ Common Market Law Review XLVIII(5): 1417-1453.
• Wróbel Aleksandra 2018 ‘Poland retreats on controversial laws’ Politico 22 March 2018 https://www.politico.eu/article/poland-law-and-justice-retreats-on-controversial-laws/.
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.105 Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.03
researchers, academics, practitioners interested in the field of political, economic and legal issues in federal states, regional organizations, and international organizations at global level