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Blake S. Rutherford, Hungary, Poland, and Access to EU Funding: The EU Charts a New Course Under The Necessity of Legislation, Conditionality, and The Rule of Law., 30 U. MIA Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 1 (2023)


In recent years, there has been considerable backsliding in Hungary and Poland regarding the rule of law, media plurality, judicial independence, and emergency powers. In response, the European Union (“EU”) exercised its authority under Article 7 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union to withhold COVID-19 relief funds in an effort to compel these nations to realign with EU principles. This article examines the history, consequence, and legal effect of the landmark decision, Hungary v. Parliament and Council. It argues that the EU was on sound legal footing to utilize money as a means to protect the values of the institution. However, the implications of invoking Article 7 are far reaching, which requires the EU to establish clarity as to the “rules of the road” for Member States going forward, particularly regarding the application of rule of law principles.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.