20 Nov 2013

Rule of law or rule of thumb? A New Copenhagen Mechanism for the EU

Sergio Carrera / Elspeth Guild / Nicholas Hernanz

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This Policy Brief synthesises the main research findings and policy recommendations presented in the CEPS e-book entitled The Triangular Relationship between Fundamental Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law: Towards an EU Copenhagen Mechanism” (http://www.ceps.eu/book/triangular-relationship-between-fundamental-rights-democracy-and-rule-law-eu-towards-eu-copenha). The authors examine the ways in which the European Union could strengthen and develop its competences in the assessment of member states’ fundamental rights, democracy and rule of law commitments. They argue that a strong political impetus is needed at Union level in order to set up a new supervisory “Copenhagen Mechanism” that would effectively and periodically evaluate member states’ compliance with democratic rule of law with fundamental rights on the basis of independent academic expertise, and by ensuring a high level of democratic accountability and judicial oversight at European levels. The Policy Brief also aims at summarising CEPS’ contribution to the upcoming Conference “Assises de la Justice: Shaping Justice Policies in Europe for the Years to Come” organised by the European Commission in Brussels on 21-22 November 2013.

Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs section at CEPS; Elspeth Guild is Senior Associate Research Fellow, Justice and Home Affairs, CEPS, and Jean Monnet Professor ad personam of European Migration Law at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom; and Nicholas Hernanz is Research Assistant, Justice and Home Affairs section, CEPS.

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