The discussion in the EU about how to address the problem of the rule of law in PL has mainly focused on deploying punitive measures. This inspired me to write a paper for @Carnegie_Europe within its #Europeandemocracy project which calls on a more comprehensive strategy. #Thread
1.Don't get me wrong. The EU cannot turn a blind eye on democratic backsliding in its own members. EU treaties provide EC with legal instruments 2 address the problem&EC has been doing its job vis-à-vis. But it will fail to restore #ruleoflaw if it only sticks 2 punitive measures
2.The EC needs to ensure that the Polish public understands the EU’s motives for intervening. Poles are pro-European but they are vulnerable to the PiS narrative that Brussels has no right to tell Warsaw what to do ( I refer to some polling in the piece)
3. If the Commission does not complement its current toolbox with actions that would help to increase public awareness of Poland’s obligations as an EU member, its actions risk a public backlash.
4.When Poland joined the #EU the PL political elites (and us - think-tanks) have mainly talked about benefits of membership. 'Look at these funds flowing to Poland, look at new highways, look at the freedom of movement of workers' they would say.
5. The EU was rarely presented to the public as a legal community and a community of values. This naturally played into the hands of the populists who have misled the public eg. that the EU is allegedly punishing PL for refusing to accept refugees.
6. NGOs have tried to set the record straight and raise public awareness of the EU democratic values and the EU law more broadly. But the PL government has made their job difficult.
7. In its case against WAW the Commission focused, however, predominantly on the reform of the PL judiciary. This is wrong. Democratic backsliding in EU's MS is one of the biggest challenges to the European project. NGOs feel at times they are on their own in this battle.
8.The EU needs to invest more in democracy promotion in MS. That includes financial support for NGOs. I know MS will be keen to look for cuts in MFF but someone should make them realise that backtracking on #ruleoflaw by a fellow MS would costEU more than money recouped from cuts
9.The EU also needs to be more strategic which activities it funds and that it does not fall in the wrong hands. @IdJButler has an excellent analysis explaining this in full details:…
10.The EC should also make better use of NGOs in its work on #ruleoflaw.They could provide it with holistic view of what needs to be done to tackle the problem.And, if EC can listen to the full ideological range of NGOs the better-WAW wouldn't be able to accuse it of being biased
11.EC promised to present a new instrum to address rule of law backsliding by Dec. It might wish 2 consider some of these tips. Full @Carnegie_Europe is here:…. M. thanks to @YoungsRichard 4 inviting me to join #Europeandemocracy project!

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More from @AgataGostynska

Sep 12, 2018
Juncker delivered his last #SOTEU2018 speech. Here are my major takeaways in a tweet #thread @CER_EU
1. As media had previously reported #Juncker decided not to focus on what his Commission achieved but on what still needs to be done to convince European citizens to say 'Yes' to the EU when they go to the polls next year.
2. I agree that it is not a good moment for pats on the back and I agree with #Juncker that member-states have in many respects held the Commission up from delivering on Commission's promises.
Read 13 tweets

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