Evaluation of EU Activities to Strengthen Democracy in Member States of the Last Waves of Enlargement (Review Article)

: 10-16
Received: March 14, 2021
Accepted: April 20, 2021
Lviv Polytechnic National University
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

The article’s purpose is to assess the effectiveness of EU policies concerning strengthen the quality of democracy in the member states. The research methods are aimed at proving the hypothesis about a decrease in impact (initiatives, control, etc.) of EU institutions on deepening democratic modernization, as a result of a discrepancy on debatable issues between the “young” democracies of the EU (like the Baltic States) and the liberal democratic course of the EU. The research is based on the methodology of neo-institutionalism, value approach and political comparative studies.

The results of the study have led to the conclusion that the current goals of the EU are not sufficiently focused on the issue of the quality of democracy in the member states. The need to revitalize the EU in the direction of monitoring the observance of democratic standards is explained by the stagnation/regression of the quality of democracy in these states of the latest EU expansion. The actions of EU institutions in relation to member states, where stagnation/regression of democracy has been manifested, were assessed as inappropriate regarding the possible consequences of this destructive process. Insufficient attention by the EU to strengthening its values on which the EU is based was noted, that is seen as the main reason for the current deterioration in the quality of democracy. The urgency of this new format for European democracy, of really effective mechanisms for ensuring its quality was stated. The authors mentioned a number of open questions that require further study, in particular:

  1. are EU initiatives able to reduce the democratic deficit in its member states?;
  2. how strong should the EU's control be over the observance of these standards and values of democracy so that it does not contradict the principles of democracy?

Attention is drawn to the need of further clarifying these mechanisms which the EU should implement in relation to its member states in order to strengthen the quality of national democratic political systems.

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