Hague Journal on the Rule of Law

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 357–372 | Cite as

Rule of Law ‘Dialogues’ Within the EU: A Legal Assessment



The rule of law is a foundational principle of the EU’s identity. It implies inter alia that member states are required to comply with this principle in their respective national realm. In that regard, the paper argues that respect for the rule of law can be conceptualized as an erga omes partes obligation: its indivisible nature entails that each country owes it to the EU, the other member states, as well as individuals. Yet the EU institutional system reveals some shortcomings as to the oversight on systemic deficiencies of the rule of law at national level, since the Article 7 procedure is not a sound response to systemic threats to the rule of law. In the light of a Council’s invitation, the Commission has proposed a complementary mechanism, which provides for a political oversight aimed essentially at entering into a dialogue with the concerned member state. This paper, while challenging some critical remarks to the Commission’s Communication, advocates that it is consistent with the Treaties. Finally, the paper highlights some positive and negative aspects of the Council’s conclusions aimed at enacting a new political dialogue among all member states within the Council to promote and safeguard the rule of law.


EU Rule of law Political oversight 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MacerataMacerataItaly

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