Civil Society and Rule of Law Backsliding in the EU

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    In the realm of the rule of law crisis taking place in several Member States of the European Union (EU), illiberal governments attempt to dilute institutional and non-institutional checks and balances with the aim to unrestrainedly exercise the state power. In this context, civil society, a sphere autonomous from the state where public interests are being expressed and formulated, is constantly undermined. This article tries to illustrate the relation between civil society and the rule of law and its backsliding. In this regard, a theoretical framework indicating the connections of the dominant civil society theories with core rule of law elements will be developed and the points of friction with rule of law backsliding will be indicated. This theoretical framework will, then, be tested in EU institutional practice through the examples of the EU Annual Rule of Law Report and the case Commission v. Hungary (Transparency of Associations, C-78/18).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245 – 268
    Number of pages24
    JournalEuropean Public Law
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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    © 2022 Kluwer Law International BV, The Netherlands

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    • SAI 2010-01 RRL


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