The fight for the rule of law in EU is only just beginning

A part of the cover page of Binding the Guardian report (source: Cross-border Talks)

Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat interviewed the left-wing member of the European Parliament Clare Daly in the context of the report Binding the Guardian, commissioned by her office. Binding the Guardian deals with abuses of rule of law in three EU countries, which the European Commission failed to expose and counter maneuver

Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat

This article was published on 10 December 2021 at the Polish site

When the European Commission reports on the rule of law in individual states, does it really always act as an impartial arbiter? And what if the answer to this question is negative? The report prepared by a team of political scientists and commissioned by Irish left-wing MEP Clare Daly shows, on the example of Spain, France and Bulgaria, the scale of Brussels’ “oversights” and inconsistencies. And its authors prove: the rule of law is a great thing, democracy is worth fighting for, but… A perfectly law-abiding government can equally perfectly well pursue the interests of big business, not its own working citizens.

Perhaps it is because of these conclusions that the report entitled Binding the Guardian has gone almost unnoticed in the mainstream media. It would be very different if the leading authors – Bulgarian-British political scientist Albena Azmanova and young researcher-trainee Bethany Howard, supported by five other academics from universities from Berlin to Oxford – had followed the usual path and drawn a simple opposition between liberal democracy and populism. However, they deviate from this path in the very first paragraph of the report.

“The development of autocratic, unaccountable governments – more ostentatious in the East, more insidious in the West – is a trans-European pathology. Such governments have developed in countries led by Eurosceptic leaders (such as Viktor Orban’s Hungary) as well as those ruled by European loyalists (Borisov’s Bulgaria). They arose in old European countries (Spain, France, Austria) and in new ones (Poland, Romania). Safeguarding the rule of law has become a matter of political emergency.”, we read in the report.

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