The Czech Presidency and the Rule of Law: Not Hungary’s Satellite Anymore
This article assesses the achievements and failures of the 2022 Czech presidency in one of its priority areas, namely democratic resilience and the rule of law. By analysing the two inherited Article 7 (1) procedures against Poland and Hungary as well as the rule of law conditionality mechanism against Hungary, I argue that the Czech presidency’s major achievement was the successful completion of the conditionality procedure despite Hungary’s hostage policy. Besides, the Czech presidency’s handling of the rule of law procedures had crucial symbolic implications. The government managed to distance itself from the notion that Czechia is a member of the ‘illiberal’ Visegrád bloc and instead demonstrated its pro-democratic and pro-European orientation.
Czech presidency, rule of law, resilience, Article 7 (1), conditionality, Council of the EU