Despite the existence of an extensive ‘rule of law toolbox’, the EU has found it difficult to deal with rule of law issues. Many experts attribute the EU’s failure to act to a lack of political will and determination on the part of EU institutions and member states. However, not all actors are lacking in political will (equally). The Netherlands, for instance, has been very concerned about the erosion of the rule of law inside the EU and has been one of the more active member states – along with, for instance, Belgium, Finland, Sweden and Denmark – in trying to address the EU’s rule of law crisis. In this policy brief, we examine three possible avenues available to the Netherlands to strengthen the political will of EU institutions and (like-minded) peers to assertively address this crisis and to increase pressure on backsliding member states to safeguard the rule of law.
What role for the Netherlands?