POSTS BY Jan-Werner Müller

Populist Constitutions – A Contradiction in Terms?

The meaning of “populism” is deeply contested.  It is striking, though, that many observers appear to agree on one point: whatever else it is, populism is inherently hostile to the mechanisms and, ultimately, the values commonly associated with constitutionalism: constraints on the will of the majority, checks and balances, protections for minorities, and even fundamental […]

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The Commission gets the point – but not necessarily the instruments

This week the European Commission issued a Communication about a new framework for protecting the rule of law within EU Member States.[1] Is this the long hoped for mechanism that allows the EU to deal with internal threats to liberal democracy (the democratic deficits within Member States, so to speak) effectively? The clear-cut answer is: yes and no. This week the European Commission issued a Communication about a new framework for protecting the rule of law within EU Member States.[1] Is this the long hoped for mechanism that allows the EU to deal with internal threats to liberal democracy (the democratic deficits within Member States, so to speak) effectively? The clear-cut answer is: yes and no.

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The Idea of Democracy Protection in the EU Revisited

Im Umgang mit Mitgliedsstaaten, in denen Demokratie und Rechtsstaatlichkeit ins Rutschen kommen, zeigen sich EU-Kommission und EU-Parlament weniger hilflos und unentschlossen, als manche befürchtet hatten. Doch reicht solch punktueller Druck aus? Jan-Werner Müller berichtet über die jüngsten Entwicklungen in Brüssel und antwortet zum Abschluss des Verfassungsblogs-Symposiums "Ungarn – was tun?" auf die Kritiker seines Vorschlags, als unabhängige Instanz eine "Kopenhagen-Kommission" einzurichten.

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The Idea of Democracy Protection in the EU Revisited

The EU Commission and the EU Parliament seem to be less ineffective than some expected in responding to deteriorations in democracy and rule of law within member states like Hungary. But will such selective pressure suffice? Jan-Werner Müller reports on the most recent developments in Brussels and, in a final contribution to Verfassungsblog’s online symposium "Hungary – Taking Action", answers to the critics of his suggestion to install an independent "Copenhagen Commission".

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Die EU als wehrhafte Demokratie, oder: Warum Brüssel eine Kopenhagen-Kommission braucht

Kann es innerhalb der Europäischen Union eine Diktatur geben?  Vor ein paar Jahren wäre solch eine Frage noch als interessante Spielerei in der politischen Theorie abgetan worden.  Angesichts der jüngsten Entwicklungen in Ungarn und Rumänien ist es plötzlich ernst mit einer Möglichkeit, die in Brüssel nie öffentlich thematisiert wurde.  Soll die EU nun als Hüterin […]

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Protecting Democracy and the Rule of Law inside the EU, or: Why Europe Needs a Copenhagen Commission

Could there be a dictatorship inside the European Union?  If such a spectre appeared, should Brussels somehow step in to shore up democracy?  Or would this constitute an illegitimate form of meddling in the domestic affairs of countries which, after all, have delegated only specific powers to Europe – and not empowered Brussels to lecture […]

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