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Poland's Constitutional Breakdown$
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Wojciech Sadurski

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198840503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198840503.001.0001

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Europe to the Rescue

Europe to the Rescue

Chapter:
(p.192) 8 Europe to the Rescue
Source:
Poland's Constitutional Breakdown
Author(s):

Wojciech Sadurski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198840503.003.0008

The Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) possess significant legal instruments to affect and reverse anti-democratic changes in Poland, and some of these instruments have already been used, with varying degrees of success. The chapter opens with the CoE’s, and in particular the Venice Commission and the European Court of Human Rights’ contributions to policing Polish assaults on the rule of law. It then turns to the EU, and reflects upon the question as to whether the EU—with its assortment of different measures of ‘naming and shaming’ (Art. 7.1 Treaty on European Union (TEU)), sanctions (Arts 7.2 and 7.3 TEU), and legal infringement actions, as well as its newly crafted ‘rule of law framework’ (also known as the pre-Article 7 procedure)—has been so far, and can be in the near future, effective in cabining and reversing anti-democratic trends in one of its largest member states. The conclusion is affirmative: the EU has an important, even if limited, role to play in assisting Polish defenders of the rule of law and democracy.

Keywords:   Council of Europe, Venice Commission, European Court of Human Rights, European Commission, Court of Justice of the EU, infringement actions, Rule of law framework, Article 7 procedure, preliminary reference, Copenhagen Commission

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