SIGMA Papers

SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management) is a joint initiative of the OECD and the EU, principally financed by the EU. SIGMA Papers is a series of specialised reports that are focused on particular issues in governance and management, such as expenditure control, administrative oversight, interministerial co-ordination, public procurement and public service management.

Available in French (see link below) and other languages.

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Rethinking Europe's « Rule of Law » and Enlargement Agenda

The Fundamental Dilemma

This paper sets out a strategy calling for a radical overhaul of the manner in which both the EU and aspiring member states define and implement what the Copenhagen criteria refer to as the “Rule of Law” in pursuit of the elusive goal of sustainability. While pointing to the limits of the current “anatomical method” centered on legal and institutional checklists, the paper stresses the existence of a fundamental dilemma between, on the one hand, the need to be more ambitious in assessing and promoting the “Rule of Law” and, on the other hand, the imperative to exercise humility and restraint regarding the claims made by the EU on behalf of “Rule of Law” assessment and assistance.


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