Enforcement of the European Union core values: EU responses to the erosion of the European values in Austria, Poland and Hungary
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This thesis analyzes the mechanisms ensuring compliance with the EU values that the EU has utilized in the cases of Austria (1999-2000), Hungary (2010-2020), and Poland (2015- 2020). The objective of the thesis is to find out what instruments the EU has at its disposal to address value breaches by member states, and how and with what results these instruments have been used. This thesis aims to explain why the EU has not been able to tackle the issue of value breach in member states efficiently by examining and assessing the available mechanisms. To examine the EU’s response to the value breach in the selected member states, process tracing is applied. The timeline of the developments and crucial moments are assessed based on the information received from the treaty provisions, secondary legislation, press releases of the EU institutions and secondary analysis. The conclusions are made that due to the blurred nature of values the existing mechanisms as infringement proceedings, Article 7 procedure, Rule of Law Framework have proven themselves to be inefficient. Moreover, the EU creates a suitable environment for the violating states to proceed with their illiberal developments through funding them and engaging in a dialogue within the existing culture of cooperation as opposed to imposing punitive measures.
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