Law School organized by the University of Granada (Spain) in cooperation with ESIL et EUGLOBAL
The European Union is conceived as a legal community linked to the notions of democracy and rule of law (hereinafter RoL) as two concepts that are inextricably intertwined. However, states’ foreign policy fits poorly with the notion of the RoL, even in the most advanced democracies, since in this area it is traditionally considered that executives must have a greater margin of appreciation and a quick capacity of response so as not to prejudice their effectiveness in defending the national interest and achieving their strategic objectives. This dialectical tension between the mechanisms protecting the RoL and foreign policy has been transferred to the European Union, which reproduces these tensions as a global actor and can even be used by its Member States as an instrument to escape the mechanisms protecting the RoL in the domestic legal orders.
Under these circumstances, this Conference aims to scrutinize the mechanisms for guaranteeing respect for the RoL embedded in the European legal system and its operation in practice, particularly in the field of external relations. At a time when the EU is considering sanctioning some of its Member States for their failures in respecting the RoL, it is particularly urgent to determine the main constituent elements of this concept at the European level and to check whether the EU makes a consistent use of this principle. In particular, it is important to clarify whether the RoL concept is adapted or even transformed depending on its internal or external projection. Likewise, it is necessary to determine if the European definition of RoL can be extrapolated universally and evaluate the consequences that the different definitions of RoL that can be found in the international context may have for the EU. Ultimately, the Conference intends to assess the real capacity of the EU to disseminate its values (contested internally and externally) in an increasingly competitive international environment and to act as a true global actor.