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Author: Alexander Conway 

The rule of law is a core value of the European Union, and ultimately underpins the political, legal and economic coherence of the Union. Breaches to the rule of law threaten to undermine these foundations and leave room for corruption, disinformation, foreign interference, and erosion of democratic freedoms. 

In the more immediate term, the debate between Member States over rule of law conditionality threatened to block agreement on the EU’s 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and Next Generation EU recovery fund to support Europe’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Following the 10-11 December 2020 European Council summit, this policy brief details the background of the ongoing rule of law debate in the European Union and why it matters for the Union. It explores the instruments which are available to address breaches to the rule of law and why they are proving ineffective. It concludes with an assessment of the agreement reached on rule of law conditionality at the December 2020 European Council.

You can read the paper here.