Ursula von der Leyen als Kollateral­schaden des britischen Wahlkampfs?

Als designierte Kommissionspräsidentin durchläuft Ursula von der Leyen derzeit einen Schnellkurs in den Untiefen europäischer Politik. Zuerst mussten drei Kandidat/innen während der parlamentarischen Anhörung aufgeben und der ungarische Ersatzkandidat muss weiterhin zittern. Sodann teilte Boris Johnson am Mittwochabend schriftlich mit, dass seine Regierung keinen Kommissar vorschlagen werde. Seither überschlugen sich die Ereignisse. Am Donnerstagabend eröffnete die Kommission ein Vertragsverletzungsverfahren gegen das Vereinigte Königreich.

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Old friends, new friends? Prospects for EU’s cooperation with intergovernmental organisations in promotion of the rule of law

In its July 2019 blueprint for action on the rule of law, the European Commission has outlined three main avenues of action on the rule of law in the EU: prevention, response and promotion.

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So Why Don’t We Just Call the Whole Rule of Law Thing Off, Then?

Civil society is aware of the dual standards vis-à-vis the rule of law, which emerge when one compares the Commission’s reaction to troublesome developments in Bulgaria to its policies on Poland, Hungary, and Romania. The latest CVM report on Bulgaria not only confirms this, but also leaves the impression that the Commission has given up on Bulgaria’s rule of law.

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Fighting Fire with Fire

At the first sight, the likely nomination of Věra Jourova as Commissioner for rule of law and dropping Frans Timmermans out of the portfolio appears to be a significant victory for the Visegrad Group. However, considering Jourova’s track record, her nomination might be a clever, but hazardous move by Ursula von der Leyen that may deepen the cleavage among the Visegrad countries, put an end to their coordinated acting in sovereignty related issues, and cause more headache in Budapest and Warsaw than expected.

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Has the Spitzenkandidaten System Failed and Should We Care?

The nomination of Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen is both a beginning and an end. It begins a new chapter for the European Commission with its first woman president. But also appears to mark the end of the Spitzenkandidaten approach to the selection of European Commission presidents. Indeed, all of the ‘lead candidates’ of the European political groupings were left empty-handed. If this is to be the demise of Spitzenkandidaten, will its passing be mourned?

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Dusting off the Old Precedent – Why the Commission Must Stick to the Art. 7 Procedure Against Poland

Here we go again. The reports are resurfacing that the Commission is ready to back away from the Article 7 procedure that was initiated against Poland last December. Should we be surprised? For anybody who vaguely follows the Commission’s vanishing act, the answer must be a resounding „no”. Instead, the analysis that follows offers a journey back in time and argues that the past teaches us some important lessons and … rhymes.

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