Is the EU responsible for the rise of illiberal authoritarianism and the decline of democracy in Europe?

IIEA30th October 20182min
Professor Gráinne de Búrca asked what part, if any, the EU has played in the rise of illiberal authoritarianism and the weakening of national constitutional democracy.

 

For the next talk in our series on Populism and the Challenges to the Liberal Order, in association with Trinity Research in Social Sciences (TRiSS), we were joined by Professor Gráinne de Búrca,Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law at New York University.

When Jeremy Hunt recently compared the EU to the Soviet Union from the point of view of its alleged repressiveness and refusal to facilitate an easy exit for the UK, many observers were outraged at the analogy. Yet others have criticised the EU for a range of policies which they argue have locked member states into unfavourable economic and monetary straitjackets, fueled populist Euroscepticism and right-wing xenophobia, and undermined constitutional democracy. In her address to the IIEA, Professor Gráinne de Búrca considered these arguments and asked what part, if any, the EU has played in the rise of illiberal authoritarianism and the weakening of national constitutional democracy.

This event was part of the IIEA’s Future of the EU27 Project, which is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

About the Speaker:

Gráinne de Búrca is Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law at New York University. She is Director of the Hauser Global Law School and co-director of the Jean Monnet Center for Regional and International Economic Law and Justice.  Before joining NYU she was professor at Harvard Law School, Fordham Law School, and the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy, and fellow of Somerville College and lecturer in law at Oxford University. Her fields of expertise are European Union law, international and transnational governance, human rights law, and international organizations. She studied law at University College Dublin and the University of Michigan Law School and was admitted to the bar at King’s Inns, Dublin. She is co-editor of the Oxford University Press book series Oxford Studies in European Law, and co-author of the textbook EU Law, currently in its sixth edition. She is co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I•CON) and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.