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  • Author: Christopher Hartwell, Kateryna Karunska, Krzysztof Głowacki, Maria Krell
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The rule of law, by securing civil and economic rights, directly contributes to social prosperity and is one of our societies’ greatest achievements. In the European Union (EU), the rule of law is enshrined in the Treaties of its founding and is recognised not just as a necessary condition of a liberal democratic society, but also as an important requirement for a stable, effective, and sustainable market economy. In fact, it was the stability and equality of opportunity provided by the rule of law that enabled the post-war Wirtschaftswunder in Germany and the post-Communist resuscitation of the economy in Poland. But the rule of law is a living concept that is constantly evolving – both in its formal, de jure dimension, embodied in legislation, and its de facto dimension, or its reception by society. In Poland, in particular, according to the EU, the rule of law has been heavily challenged by government since 2015 and has evolved amid continued pressure exerted on the institutions which execute laws. More recently, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the perception of the rule of law and its boundaries throughout the EU and beyond (Marzocchi, 2020). Against this background, this study examines the rule of law as a determinant of economic development in Germany and Poland from both the de jure and de facto perspectives.
  • Topic: Economic Growth, Rule of Law, Trade, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Germany
  • Author: Olena Tregub
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Euromaidan protests that toppled the government of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Ukrainian activists and civil society organizations have pressed hard for anti-corruption reforms and greater openness and transparency in the public sector. Five years later, however, corruption remains a fixture of civic life—and a majority of Ukrainians believe the fight against corruption has been a failure. This new report reviews the changes that have taken place in the anti-corruption movement since the Euromaidan and identifies practical actions the international community can take to support reform efforts in Ukraine.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Governance, Reform, Democracy, Rule of Law, Protests, Accountability, Transparency, Justice
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Marta Makowska, Melchior Szczepanik
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the draft multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027, the European Commission (EC) proposed a political conditionality mechanism through which EU funds could be suspended for countries violating the rule of law. If implemented, it would grant the EC new powers to control the condition of the rule of law in Member States, but it is based on imprecise criteria. Even though the EC has declared that the mechanism is designed to discipline state institutions responsible for breaches, it could be damaging mainly to the final beneficiaries of the funds.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Budget, European Union, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Srđan Cvijić, Stevo Muk
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Politically, Montenegro finds itself in a paradoxical situation. At one level it is the champion of European integration in the Western Balkans when it comes to progress in the EU accession negotiations, but it is also the only country in the region that has not experienced a change of government since the introduction of the multiparty system in 1990. The same individuals, families, and political and business elites have been controlling the country’s politics and economy for more than 25 years. This situation is likely to continue after the recently held October 16 parliamentary elections where the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists managed once again to secure the most seats in parliament but fell short of securing an absolute majority. Key conclusions in this report include: the October elections were marked by numerous irregularities and were held in problematic conditions; the Montenegrin government and European Commission need to focus more on reforms in the area of the rule of law; the EU accession process remains unclear and lacks transparency. The authors present recommendations to the European Commission, European Parliament, and the EU member states for moving forward.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Elections, European Union, Democracy, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans, Montenegro