Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, January 19, 2019 05:12:11 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Future of European Union uncertain

By
12th-Jan-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Adam Traczyk and Jan Jakub Chromiec :
The weak spot of the Union is not just the right balance between more or less integration. Instead, its future will depend on public support for European values. To understand this claim, consider what would happen if Poland's current political style became the gold standard across the Union.
At the very least, when member states dismantle judicial independence, limit media freedom and stifle non-governmental organisations, the Union loses credibility to conduct value-based foreign policy. A Union of member states dismantling democracy cannot credibly persuade neighbours to strengthen it. Moreover, when countries stop respecting rulings of the European Court of Justice, as Poland recently did, common policies become worthless since they are no longer independently enforceable.
And when it comes to decision-making, imagine the outcome of European Councils where Kaczynskiesque governments hold a majority. Incantations of "Germany first", "France first" and other "firsts", disregard for rule of law, and backtracking on commitments would wreck the European project. Brussels triggers unprecedented action against Poland European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans announced with a 04:13am tweet that the EU executive had activated Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty against Poland, due to "a risk of serious breach of of the rule of law". In sum, when member states don't respect European values - pluralistic democracy, rule of law, human rights - the Union as a rules-based system of peaceful conflict resolution among democracies risks breaking down. We can only speculate what kind of animal the EU would become instead, but we know from history that the alternative to rule of law is the rule of strength.
That's why the Polish government should get an award.
On one hand, its conduct is a warning shot about the fragility of liberal-democratic institutions. These institutions are no more than pieces of paper converted into political power by public support. Take away this support and you will hold in your hands only pieces of paper.
On the other hand, identifying a weak spot means that solutions can be discussed. In this vein, we propose a two-fold approach of promoting European values: through a corrective and a preventive arm.
The corrective arm already exists, in the form of Article 7 of the EU Treaty which suspends the voting rights of a member breaching European values and a rule of law framework introducing dialogue before such a penalty is triggered. The flaw of these mechanisms is that they assume member states are persuadable by dialogue. When a country chooses confrontation over dialogue these mechanisms fail. Moreover, Article 7 is a 'nuclear option': once triggered, there are no further means of persuasion.
For this reason, some suggest punishing Poland by limiting its access to EU funds. This would be a double-edged sword. While it would probably reduce the government's popularity, it would surely hurt the Polish people, for whom EU-friendly sentiment is fuelled in part by structural and agricultural funds from the EU budget.
Since correcting violations of European values is so difficult, the Union should invest more in preventing them from happening in the first place. Here is how this could be done.
In Poland, civil society in the form of watchdogs, campaign groups, independent media and think tanks is currently the most important promoter of European values. In July, non-governmental organisations carried out protests in roughly 250 cities, forcing the president to veto parts of a controversial judicial reform.
However, running such organisations is as hard as it gets. The government has slashed funding for critical NGOs, launched a National Centre for the Development of Civil Society in order to centralise public subsidies, and conducted anti-NGO campaigns in the media. At a time where civil society is needed the most, its ability to operate is limited.
The Union already supports value-promoting NGOs in its neighbourhood. A European Instrument for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights, for instance, foresees €1.3bn for this purpose. But since democratic institutions are endangered within the EU, we need an instrument directed at member states. This instrument, let's call it 'Fund for European Values', would support NGOs promoting the values enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty: rule of law, human rights and democracy. Funding, at a level similar to the EU's spending on promoting values in third countries, would be available to organisations in all member states, to underscore that fostering values is important across the Union. Setting up this kind of preventive arm would have three advantages.
First, it would balance the harsh language of sanctions with a positive message from Brussels. Secondly, it would contribute to limiting divisions in the EU by signalling that value-promotion is a task for all member states. Finally, and most importantly, it would contribute to strengthening the immune system of European democracies. Ultimately, democracy can only be upheld by people striving and fighting for it. As Friedrich Ebert, the first democratically elected president of Germany put it, democracy needs democrats.
The alternative is the prospect that some years from now, the institutions currently securing our freedom and prosperity might be reduced to worthless pieces of paper.

(Jan Jakub Chromiec is a researcher at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Adam Traczyk is a co-founder and director of the Global.Lab think tank in Warsaw).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

City »

Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud speaking at the extended meeting of Awami League at the party office in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue on Friday.


.

International »

Modi's pre-election handouts to cost India billions, breach fiscal targets


Reuters, New Delhi :A series of vote-catching measures planned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he braces for a difficult general election may cost more than 1 trillion rupees ($14 billion), two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.Much of the cost of the extra spending or revenue ...

Cricket »

Dhoni, Jadhav power India to ODI series victory


Agency :MS Dhoni and Kedhar Jadhav scored half-centuries as India won the third and final ODI against Australia by seven wickets at Melbourne on Friday to seal the series 2-1.Chasing 231 to win, Dhoni (87*) and Jadhav (61*) put together a 121-run partnership to take India home after the bowlers, ...

Entertainment »

Achol returns acting slowly


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular film actress of present time Achol has returned to acting but with the appearance of anger. Her elder sister Moonmoon is attached with the underworld. When she knows the matter she becomes anger. Achol will be seen by this way in Mizanur Rahman Mizan’s movie Ragi. ...

Entertainment »

Zahid, Mim, Ferdous after a decade


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Zahid Hasan, Ferdous and Bidya Sinha Saha Mim worked together in late writer, novelist and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed directed in a movie titled Aamar Achhey Jol 10 years ago. Though Zahid Hasan and Ferdous worked under Humayun Ahmed directed movies and dramas but Mim for the first ...

Editorial »

Corrupt practice should be stopped in Chattogram Port


THE fraud syndicates in connivance with some dishonest clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents in the last two years released 4,000 consignments from Chattogram Port using forged documents and other illegal ways. News media reported that these gangs stole and misused the identities of two former Customs Officials of the Chattogram ...

Cricket »

Warner to return to Australia from BPL with elbow injury


After Steven Smith, David Warner, too, will make an early exit from the Bangladesh Premier League(BPL). The 32-year-old will return to Australia for medical assessment after having reporting pain in his elbow, Cricket Australia confirmed."David has reported some pain in his right elbow. He will return to Australia on January ...

Sports »

Pliskova fires up to reach Aussie Open third round


AFP, Melbourne :Seventh seed Karolina Pliskova recovered from a slow start to storm home against unseeded American Madison Brengle and grab a spot in the Australian Open third round Thursday.The 26-year-old Czech went down a set before unleashing a devastating flurry of aces and winners in her 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 ...

International »

Vietnam prepares for Kim Jong Un visit amid talks of second summit with Trump


Reuters, Hanoi  :Hanoi is preparing to receive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a state visit, two sources told Reuters, while officials and diplomats said Vietnam is keen to host a second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.A source familiar with the matter said Kim will travel ...

Editorial »

Ensure ideal working atmosphere for women


THE bike of Shahanaj Akhter, who became a social media sensation recently for her struggle to maintain her family by offering ridesharing services, was recovered from Raghunathpur area in Narayanganj on early Wednesday hours after it was reportedly stolen. Police arrested a Masters student in English Department of Tejgaon College ...

Football »

Struggling Fulham sign Babel from Besiktas


Fulham signed former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel from Besiktas on Tuesday as the Premier League strugglers bid to bolster their spluttering attack and avoid relegation.Netherlands international Babel has joined Claudio Ranieri's side, who sit 19th and five points from safety, until the end of the season and could make his ...

Football »

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina receiving a football ( as a souvenir) from Senior Vice-President of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Abdus Salam Murshedy, MP, when a delegation of BFF led by its President Kazi Md Salahuddin met her at the Gono Bhaban on Tuesday night.


International »

Brexit deadline could be pushed back on UK request: French minister


AFP, Paris :The European Union could push back the looming March 29 Brexit deadline if London made such a request, France's Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Wednesday."At the time of speaking, it's just a theory because Mrs May has never asked for it and neither has anyone in her ...

International »

Australian towns among hottest spots on Earth as heatwave sizzles


Australian towns were among the hottest places on Earth this week as a severe heatwave hit the continent's southeast, with forecasters warning of more record-breaking temperatures before the weekend.The past four days were among the country's top 10 warmest on record, with temperatures nearing 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) ...

Entertainment »

Katrina Kaif disagrees with the term ‘item song’


Katrina Kaif has come a long way in the 16 years she has been a Hindi film actor - from being known mainly for her dancing ability, to her acting talent being proved by films such as New York, Rajneeti and Zero. On how this journey has been so far, ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news