Building: 27SG Floor: Third Room: 33
The panel tackles democratic backsliding among new EU member states and candidate countries as one of the key challenges to EU governance. It critically revisits the understanding of EU integration as a tool for democratization and questions the EU’s enduring ability to act as a transformative power in the enlargement region. Bringing together Europeanisation research with comparative democratisation literature, the panel provides a thorough conceptual discussion of the phenomenon of democratic backsliding and contributes to its further theorization. In empirical terms, it provides a comparative assessment of tendencies of democratic backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, and Turkey. The aim of the panel is to offer a composite picture of the concrete manifestations of democratic backsliding as well as its implications for democracy and the rule of law at the EU level. The different papers highlight the conceptual and the empirical challenges posed by democratic backsliding in a comparative, cross-regional perspective that covers both the pre- and the post-accession dimensions.