Catchwords and Combat Terms
Scene change: By the end of 2017, the EU Commission had initiated infringement proceedings against Poland because of an alleged breach of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union. The offending object is Poland´s latest judicial reform. And the Commission is currently preparing for infringement proceedings against Hungary, also because of a purported undermining of the rule of law and a potentially serious breach of the values referred to in Article 2.
The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.
What seems to be a contradiction in terms turns out to be an integrative part of the EU elite's policy. Instead of engaging in substantial political discourse within and outside their own ranks, the elite continue to promulgate dogmata to justify their ignorance of the national states' sovereignty. Flanked by leading media, senior representatives of the EU institutional bodies are crusading against those national governments that are marching to a different tune, misusing the ideas and traditions of democracy and rule of law and downgrading them to mere catchwords and combat terms. However, when talking about the rule of law the EU would do better to get its own house in order first. Instead of swinging the moral club to avoid any substantial political discourse, the EU elite and leading media should question their own attitudes towards the rule of law, and its application within the European Union.