New Beginnings: Democracy

The principles of liberal democracy and the rule of law are the legal and political foundations of the EU. For several years, liberal democracy has been called into question under pressure from populist and extremist political forces. Even if simple solutions do not exist, it is essential to develop a strategy to combat these developments. First, the Court of Justice has a central role to play in protecting fundamental European values and the rule of law. Second, it is essential to strengthen control over the use of community funds and to strengthen the EU’s role in the fight against corruption which is an aspect of the current democratic regression. Third, a political strategy is necessary: the first step is to recognize the urgency of the problem: it is an intellectual, political and cultural struggle (the key lies in education and culture policies); the other key is to be found with European political elites, who must seize the discourse on European values and stimulate it consistently, in a credible and audible way.

This series is a cooperation between the Jacques Delors Institutes in Berlin and Paris and makes concrete proposals for the EU’s next institutional cycle. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

Prof. Thierry Chopin is Special Consultant at the Jacques Delors Institute Paris and professor at the Catholic University of Lille, he formally worked for the University of Paris XI.  

Image: CC Abdul Rahman, source: flickr.com