MCC Brussels is delighted to invite you to this book and panel discussion with Ákos Bence Gát, Ashley Frawley, and Gladden Pappin.

  • Venue: Press Club, Rue Froissart 95, 1000. Brussels
  • Date and time: Tuesday March 21, 2023 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm

Today, European debates are dominated by accusations that several counties have been undermining Rule of Law norms. EU institutions have insisted that Europe faces a barrage of attacks on judicial independence, media freedom, and civil society. According to the EU Commission, the foundational democratic principle of the Rule of Law is under particular attack in countries such as Hungary and Poland. But are these Rule of Law debates actually as they seem?

The Rule of Law – the idea of the independence of legal processes from political ones – is certainly a key principle in a democratic society. But several academics and legal experts have begun to worry about both bias and overreach in the EU claims about Rule of Law breaches. Many insist that Rule of Law concerns are often political rather than legal claims – grounded in a dislike of certain EU member states. Others insist that the EU needs to take much firmer action against so-called ‘problem countries’ who are said to flout democratic standards and undermine the European project.

The new book, European Policy on the Rule of Law - A Glimpse Behind the Scenes, by Dr Ákos Bence Gát of the Danube Institute and University of Public Service offers a novel analysis of the EU's Rule of Law debates. The author outlines how different supranational institutions and political forces have used the concept of the rule of law in order to change the political structure and balance of power within the EU. MCC Brussels’ own recent report Dangerous Game: The Weaponisation of Rule of Law and the Attack on the Veto has also noted how discussions about the rule of law are a cover for disagreements about differing cultural values and reflect the EU project of imposing so-called EU values on sovereign countries.

Do certain EU Member States really have serious Rule of Law problems? Should the EU take a firmer line on Rule of Law breaches? Or are these attacks often politically motivated? Why does the Rule of Law matter, and is the concept being abused?

Join MCC Brussels for this timely debate on a contentious issues, where all perspectives can be freely aired and debated.


  • Dr Ákos Bence Gát, Head of Communications and Foreign Affairs, Danube Institute; author, European Policy on the Rule of Law
  • Dr Ashley Frawley, Visiting Research Fellow, MCC Brussels; author, Significant Emotions: Rhetoric and Social Problems in a Vulnerable Age
  • Dr Gladden Pappin, Associate Professor, University of Dallas and Visiting Senior Fellow, MCC