The issue of the rule of law within the EU is timely, given current disputes regarding Spain/Catalonia, Hungary and Poland. A new book by Theodore Konstandinides – a Senior Lecturer in the Law Department at the University of Essex – looks at the internal dimension of the concept of the rule of law within the EU.
The book argues that the preservation of the values underpinning the rule of law (such as legality, legal certainty, prohibition of arbitrariness, respect for fundamental rights) is essential to the success of EU integration. However, the idea of the EU rule of law often faces criticism: it is only window dressing for the EU to obtain new powers, and does little to constrain EU institutions or Member States in practice.
Does the EU rule of law deserve those criticisms? The book answers that question first of all by setting out an analytical guide to the EU rule of law. It also asks if the EU is based on the rule of law – taking account of the degree of compliance and the overall effectiveness of the EU enforcement acquis.