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Ejection for Democracy Protection: On the Expulsion of EU Member States

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This article argues against the idea that European Union (EU) member states (MSs) that have turned autocratic should be ejected from the EU to ensure that the latter does not itself violate the principle of democracy identified with the all subjected principle (ASP). First, the ASP requires that MSs be democratic before a decision to eject them would be acceptable and at that point, there is no reason to eject them. Second, if EU membership is voluntary as the protagonist of the above idea presupposes, any MS can decide to leave at any point in time and other MSs can decide to leave any MS behind and create a new European organization without it. Taken together, this means that the ASP, which pertains to permanent subjection (to EU law), is irrelevant already from the outset and cannot be used as the main premise for the argument for ejection. Finally, the very disagreement about what kind of organization the EU is and should become, implies that the democratic rights of citizens be given priority over the rights of states. This speaks against the legitimacy of ejecting MSs for democracy protection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRes Publica
Pages (from-to)321-330
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

    Research areas

  • All subjected principle, Defense of democracy, Democratic backsliding, European Union, Expulsion

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