Skip to main content

European court of justice building: Photo: “Quartier Européen Nord, Kirchberg: Towers, European Court of Justice,” by sprklg licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Martins de Matos, G. (2023). What is the role of the infringement procedure in tackling rule of law backsliding in the EU?. UNIO – EU Law Journal8(2), 17–31


The rule of law is a foundational and fundamental value of the European Union, embodied by the complete and coherent system of legal remedies based on the fundamental right to effective judicial protection. In some Member States, the rule of law has been facing challenges and difficulties of varying degrees of severity, leading to what has been called a “rule of law backsliding” in those States. The urgency to tackle these challenges has led to the search for immediate solutions within the European Union’s tools and mechanisms, which has increased the focus given to the infringement procedure, a judicial procedure whose goal is to review the behaviours of Member States and find breaches of European Union law committed by them. The past uses of this judicial mechanism by the European Commission and the decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) that followed have showed positive results and opened promising paths to follow in the fight to uphold the rule of law in the European Union

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.