Commentary V4

Analysis: The rule of law is not inferior in Central and Eastern Europe

National legal systems are partly the result of locally specific historical and cultural developments, thus it may be counter-productive to affirm that some systems are inherently better than others, Eszter Párkányi, a researcher at the Budapest-based think-tank Center for Basic Rights, told Mandiner in an interview.

Párkányi said that while on the most general level of the separation of powers, equality before the law and the respect for life and fundamental human rights are universally accepted standards, once we move into more specific areas the situation is less clear-cut.

Finland and the Netherlands, for example, do not have constitutional courts, with this role being assigned to parliamentary committees. In France, prosecutors are under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Justice, while in the UK the “first past the post” election system means that evenly distributed minority votes may not get any parliamentary representation.

These are all examples that national legal systems stem from a set of specific conditions and the European Union should exercise the tolerance it so often cites in accepting that none of these systems are inherently better or worse than others.

The EU bureaucracy is consistently applying double standards in its belief that the newcomers who joined the Union in 2004 or later are “fresh democracies of the Eastern bloc”, who don’t necessarily have the expertise to design and run a proper legal system.

As a result, a thin veneer of ill-defined “European standards” has become a pretext to overrule the will of a nation’s citizens expressed at elections in the name of superior general principles.

The economically stronger Western European countries have also established a fictional principle: in their view, the subsidies granted to the less developed regions and states of the EU entitle them to dictate the rules applicable to these “lesser” nations.

 

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