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Expert Panel: How to Tackle Rule of Law Backsliding in the EU?

A panel of experts taking stock of these issues regarding rule of law backsliding and reflect on the various mechanisms and approaches to promote, support and strengthen the rule of law in Europe.

There have been important developments and decisions taken in the past few months with respect to the rule of law in the European Union (EU). This includes, for example, the European Commission’s proposal on the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law, which would bring conditionalities within the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework, and the recent vote in the European Parliament (EP) to link EU funds to rule of law. The EP also initiated greater scrutiny over Hungary’s attempts to undermine democratic institutions, while the European Commission initiated an Article 7 proceeding against Poland.

In the coming months, additional decisions will also be made that will significantly affect the rule of law in the EU, from the European elections to the ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the legality of a controversial judicial law introduced by the Polish government, as well as the upcoming discussion within the Council of the EU on rule of law, scheduled for the end of March 2019.

You are invited to join a panel of experts that will take stock of these issues and reflect on the various mechanisms and approaches to promote, support and strengthen the rule of law in Europe. The panel will address the following questions: What are the implications of the recent vote in the European Parliament on rule of law conditionality? How likely is it that rule of law conditionality will be streamlined across the EU? What are the technical and legal challenges for applying rule of law conditionality? Will rule of law conditionality be part of the future MFF, and if so, how can the likely pushback from certain Member States be addressed? What will the ruling of the ECJ on the Polish judicial law mean for judicial review in the EU?  How will the European elections affect the prospects of rule of law conditionality?

Chair: Prof. Dr. Jan Wouters, Full Professor of International Law and International Organizations, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven


  • Doru Frantescu, CEO and founder of VoteWatch Europe
  • Judith Sargentini, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform
  • Bianca Toma, Program Director, Justice and Good Governance, Romanian Center for European Policies
  • Nicolaas Bel, Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate-General Justice and Consumers, Justice Policy and Rule of Law, European Commission

This event is co-convened by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law (UK), the Romanian Center for European Policies, and the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies.


20 Mar 2019 @ 09:30 am

20 Mar 2019 @ 11:30 am

Duration: 2 hours


InfoPoint Europa - Schuman

1 Archimedesstraat

1000 Brussel


Organised by

Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies