Publications

229 Publications
Rule of law

Le bulldozer polonais – Vers un accord gagnant-gagnant-gagnant pour la Pologne, l’UE et la Commission européenne

18 Dec 2021

Aujourd’hui, la Commission européenne, l’exécutif de l’UE, doit prendre une décision capitale. Elle doit se tourner vers la Cour européenne de justice (CEJ) et requérir une amende sans précédent contre un gouvernement qui refuse d’appliquer l’un des arrêts les plus importants de l’histoire de l’intégration européenne, rendu par la CEJ. En mettant ainsi Ziobro au pied du mur, la Commission européenne et la CEJ parviendraient non seulement à sauver l’Etat de droit en Pologne et préserver l’ordre juridique de l’UE, mais aussi, à rompre le charme, en détruisant cette fascination qu’éprouve une minorité radicale de plus en plus réduite, pour le ministre polonais.

Rule of law

The Polish Bulldozer – Towards a win-win-win for Poland, the EU and the European Commission

18 Dec 2021

Today the European Commission faces a momentous decision on Poland. It must turn to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and ask for an unprecedented penalty payment from a government which is refusing to implement one of the most important ECJ judgements in the history of European integration. By calling minister of justice Zbigniew Ziobro’s bluff the European Commission and the ECJ not only save the rule of law in Poland and preserve the EU’s legal order but also break his spell over a shrinking radical minority.

Rule of law

A 5 billion Euro penalty to save the rule of law – How infringement penalties are set

5 Aug 2021

When member states violate EU law or refuse to implement judgements by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) EU institutions are not powerless: the European Commission can propose, and the ECJ impose, financial sanctions.

Rule of law

Inside the system Ziobro built

5 Aug 2021

No member state in the history of the EU has ever gone as far in subjugating its courts to executive control as the current Polish government. In a few years, PiS has changed the whole system of appointment, promotion and disciplining of judges and prosecutors, with a view to strengthening executive control. It captured the Constitutional Tribunal.

Council of Europe

“As simple as it is appalling.” The Navalny debate highlights

22 Apr 2021

What should happen next? What does it mean to say that “all options are on the table” to ensure that Navalny is released and that judgements are implemented? Or that “there are possibilities” of action for the body responsible for the execution of all Strasbourg Court judgements, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, currently chaired by Germany?

Rule of law

An Article 19 Mechanism - The need for a robust defence of EU rule of law

23 Jul 2020

The EU faces three major crises today. One is a public health crisis, which threatens hundreds of thousands of lives. One is an unprecedented economic and social crisis, which puts at risk the employment and livelihoods of tens of millions of Europeans. And then there is a crisis of core values that underpin the European project: the rule of law and the checks and balances of liberal democracy. These are under attack today from inside and outside the Union.

Europe

The wizard, the virus and a pot of gold - Viktor Orban and the future of European solidarity

18 Apr 2020

30 March 2020 was a dark day in the history of EU assistance. It highlighted the fact that this system of solidarity had gone fundamentally wrong. Europeans now need to find better ways to defend the values enshrined in their treaties, not with pious words and empty threats, but in the language of power and money that politicians like Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban will understand.

Migration

The Aegean Tragedy – Key facts and key steps

24 Jan 2020

Priorities this winter: end the humanitarian emergency on the islands; avoid a new humanitarian emergency on the mainland; reduce the number of people crossing the Balkan route; ensure that there are no push backs at any border in South East Europe.

EU enlargement

Hamster in the Wheel - Credibility and EU Balkan policy

15 Jan 2020

Balkan enlargement was in crisis even before EU leaders failed to agree in 2019 on opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania. Unless there is a change in methodology and pace, no Western Balkan country is likely to be a member of the EU by 2030. 

Migration

How to implement the EU-Turkey Statement: Phase II – Key facts and key steps

24 Dec 2019

Priorities this winter: end the humanitarian emergency on the islands; avoid a new humanitarian emergency on the mainland; reduce the number of people crossing the Balkan route; ensure that there are no push backs at any border in South East Europe.

Rule of law

Poland’s deepening crisis - When the rule of law dies in Europe

14 Dec 2019

No member state in the history of the EU has ever gone as far in subjugating its courts to executive control as the current Polish government. The Polish case has become a test whether it is possible to create a Soviet-style justice system in an EU member state; a system where the control of courts, prosecutors and judges lies with the executive and a single party.

Border changes

The Hypnotist – Aleksandar Vucic, John Bolton and the return of the past

25 Apr 2019

It is remarkable how little change there has been in the key personnel in Serbian politics since the fall of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. It is not surprising, therefore, that the old nationalist idea of redrawing borders on the basis of ethnicity has continued to be so prominent. What is surprising is the recent success that Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic has had in repackaging this old idea as progressive, non-conventional, out-of-the-box thinking. Why not, the siren song goes (again), adjust some borders along ethnic lines, as long as the process is negotiated peacefully and leads to reconciliation?

Rule of law

The disciplinary system for judges in Poland - The case for infringement proceedings

22 Mar 2019

This opinion accompanies the ESI report "Under Siege: Why Polish courts matter for Europe". It sets out the legal basis for the European Commission to initiate infringement proceedings against Poland in respect of recent reforms to the disciplinary system for Polish judges.

Rule of law

Under Siege – Why Polish courts matter for Europe

22 Mar 2019

In countries respectful of the rule of law the disciplinary system for judges is meant to uphold standards and prevent abuse. It does not do so in Poland. No other European democracy has a system like the Polish one. Nowhere else is there such a concentration of powers in the hands of one man.

Human Rights

The power of focus - Proposal for a European human rights entry ban commission

14 Nov 2018

Today there is an urgent need to defend key human rights norms, such as the bans on torture, on political imprisonment and on extra-judicial killings. Leaders in many countries are questioning these norms and the international treaties that protect them; in others they are violated with impunity. European democracies have an interest to send a strong message to human rights violators and the wider public that these actions remain wrong and shameful.

Council of Europe

Negotiating with a pointed gun - Sanctions, appeasement and the role of Russia in the Council of Europe

8 Oct 2018

Legislators in Strasbourg will be voting on changes to PACE’s powers to sanction the parliamentary delegations of states violating human rights, democracy and the rule of law. They will also be voting on something much bigger: the relevance and credibility of the Council of Europe itself.