Second-Grade Constitutionalism? The Cases of Hungary and Poland

The weakness of the Copenhagen criteria and the lack of their application after accession caused a discrepancy between EU accession conditions and membership obligations, which might be one of the reasons for non-compliance after accession in some of the new Member States. The other reason is certainly the authoritarian past of the new democracies.
This paper deals with recent deviations from the shared values of rule of law and democracy—the ‘basic structure’ of Europe—in some of the new Member States in East-Central Europe, especially in Hungary and Poland.

Keywords: Constitutionalism, Rule of Law, Democracy, Art. 2, Hungary, Poland, European Union

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