FUSIEK, Dawid Aristotelis. “DEMOCRACY VERSUS AUTOCRACY. WHY THE DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM IS SUPERIOR AND HOW IT CAN DEFEAT AUTOCRACY.” (2022).
Over the last years, the EU has been experiencing a democratic decline, which is especially noticeable in Western Balkan and Eastern Europe. This development puts at risk the EU’s democratic foundations and could contribute to the deterioration of existing internal divisions and external policies, such as enlargement and the Eastern Partnership. Hence, this policy paper examines the manner in which the EU can tackle the increasing democratic backslide while maintaining its unity and well-functioning. First, the paper starts by addressing the important inquiry: Why is it important for the EU to challenge the present democratic backslide? Then, it argues the EU should: a) push for internal reforms to strengthen European institutions and its instruments; b) maintain a decisive and joint stance on Hungary and Poland while avoiding fuelling a general political condemnation against the two states; c) put enlargement high on its agenda and promotion of rule of law in its neighbourhood through EU’s new or existing instruments; d) push for a transatlantic and overall common Western approach to promote democratic development in Eastern Europe and Western Balkans.