This special issue of Poliarchie/Polyarchies presents some contributions towards the project “The Rule of Law in the new EU Member States” (EUinCEE; no. 620097-EPP- 1-2020-1-IT-EPPJMO-MODULE), which has been coordinated by Serena Baldin at the University of Trieste (Italy) and co-funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ Action Jean Monnet Modules. Serena Baldin, Davide Strazzari, Giuseppe Ieraci and Mattia Zulianello were directly involved in the project. This special issue also includes essays written by academics invited to the EUinCEE final conference held in Trieste in October 2022, dedicated to “The rule of law in post-socialist countries and the future of the European integration”. The rule of law is listed among the founding
Bosnia and Herzegovina has travelled along a turbulent path, overcoming the burdens of the past such as the war in the early 1990s and the lack of any historical democratic experience. But there are also burdens in the present that include internal political disagreements over crucial issues such as the nature of the state, as well as the geopolitical complexities of the Western Balkans Region, to arrive to the point of obtaining the EU membership candidacy in the late 2022. While the local political elites often played the part of veto players, impeding state functionality in this process, most recently in a period prior to obtaining the candidacy, the international community has played the opposite role, actively engaging in the peacebuilding and state-building processes, and positively influencing the country’s progress on the European path. The paper explores this dynamic and looks at recent reforms in the rule of law area, in particularly the judiciary, in an attempt to provide a comprehensive picture of the forces at work that shape the country’s progress on the European path, and their respective rationales.
The objective of this article is to analyze the state of the art of the EU enlargement process — scheduled for 2025 — to the most advanced candidates, Serbia and Montenegro, through an overview of the achieved objectives as regards the satisfaction of the political criteria for EU membership, the economic criteria and the alignment with the EU acquis. A particular attention will be given to one of the most critical profiles within the process: the lack of legislation against hate speech, and, in comparative perspective, the ways in which the two countries face the issue. The areas in which the two countries seem to have achieved encouraging results in terms of progress in the process of joining the EU will be analyzed, as well as those in which there are still critical aspects. Without claiming to be exhaustive and focusing on the content of the Reports on the subject, some possible hypotheses for solutions to the problem will be mentioned.
This paper explores the evolution and the historic and contemporary challenges to rule of law in Bulgaria. It allocates rule of law within a grid of issues resulting from the semi-permanent transition in Bulgaria. It assesses rule of law as a phenomenon on the edge of normative expectations, pragmatic imperatives and constitutional imaginaries. The paper offers critical analysis of rule of law from the viewpoint of constitutional traditions and constitutional transitions. The paper opens with an outline of the rule of law in the Bulgarian constitutional history. Then, it shows the permutations and phenomenological appearances of rule of law in times of transition. Rule of law is presented as a transgenerational project, a strategy for Europeanization and Modernization, a legal pillar of the constitutional order and a political narrative of society in semi-permanent transition. Finally, the rule of law deficiencies in the contemporary Bulgarian constitutional model are explored with a particular focus on two concrete groups of issues. These are the quasi-eternal reform of the judiciary and the somewhat restricted access to constitutional justice for citizens claiming the infringement of human rights.