POSTS BY Armin von Bogdandy

Fundamentals on Defending European Values

In 2007, the Treaty makers ennobled the former fundamental principles of the Treaty on European Union as European values. Respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law and the protection of human rights have henceforth transcended the sphere of ‘merely’ legal matters. Today, however, this step feeds a perception of a deep crisis: when founding values appear weak or controversial, the entire house may crumble.

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Countering the Judicial Silencing of Critics: Novel Ways to Enforce European Values

The Polish government is stepping up its repression. The freedom of political speech is a main target. A national judge has not just the right but an outright duty to refer a case to the CJEU whenever the common value basis is in danger. Thus, a Polish judge faced with a case concerning the silencing of critics, must refer the matter to the CJEU and request an interpretation of Article 2 TEU in light of the rights at stake.

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Drawing Red Lines and Giving (Some) Bite – the CJEU’s Deficiencies Judgment on the European Rule of Law

The illiberal turn in Europe has many facets. Of particular concern are Member States in which ruling majorities uproot the independence of the judiciary. For reasons well described in the Verfassungsblog, the current focus is on Poland. Since the Polish development is emblematic for a broader trend, more is at stake than the rule of law in that Member State alone (as if that were not enough). If the Polish emblematic development is not resisted, illiberal democracies might start co-defining the European constitutional order, in particular, its rule of law-value in Article 2 TEU. Accordingly, the conventional liberal self-understanding of  Europe could easily erode, with tremendous implications.

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New Forces for the Greek State: Comments on Comments

The pointed commentary published on Verfassungsblog over the last week—coming from different perspectives and informed from different experiences—shows the potential of such debates. In the case of Greece, they are an important addition to a discourse focusing too much on austerity or debt sustainability.

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How to protect European Values in the Polish Constitutional Crisis

Does the Polish development concern us — the European citizens and the European institutions we have set up? There is a functional and a normative argument to state that it does. The normative argument is that the European Union organizes a community of states that profess allegiance to a set of fundamental values—among others, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. The functional reason is that the European legal space presupposes mutual trust. European law operates on the presumption that all institutions are law-abiding. Otherwise, the legal edifice crumbles.

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A New Page in Protecting European Constitutional Values: How to best use the new EU Rule of Law Framework vis-a-vis Poland

The application of the EU Commission’s Rule of Law Framework in the current Polish case is a step in the right direction. It seems a good instance to develop the Framework as an EU mechanism to protect European constitutional values in a European legal space which is rife with constitutional crises, but short of instruments to address them. Its pertinence appears even more clearly in comparison to the Council’s (in)activity under its own rule-of-law mechanism, hastily put forward after the Commission’s Framework. The activation of the Framework has shown its potential to mobilize European public opinion and orient public discourses to the current condition of EU values.

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Ein Rettungsschirm für europäische Grundrechte – dargestellt am Beispiel der Medienfreiheit

Von ARMIN VON BOGDANDY, MATTHIAS KOTTMANN, CARLINO ANTPÖHLER, JOHANNA DICKSCHEN, SIMON HENTREI und MAJA SMRKOLJ Die Stellung der Grundrechte im europäischen Rechtsraum zeichnet eine tiefe Ambivalenz aus. Einerseits haben sie ihr Schattendasein im Unionsrecht hinter sich gelassen: Man denke an die Grundrechtecharta, den bevorstehenden Beitritt zur EMRK, das Bekenntnis zu einer grundrechtsorientierten Außenpolitik (Art. 21 […]

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