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Rule of Law and Democracy in Europe

Norwegian University of Science and Technology , Middlesex University London and LUISS via edX


Democracy and the rule of law are two of the fundamental values of the EU that are shared among the EU Member States (MS).

As of late, however, they have come under increasing pressure. Not only does the Union face criticism about its own democratic and rule of law shortcomings, but it also appears to struggle to find effective responses when faced with the erosion of these values in several of its MS.

In this course, an interdisciplinary team of experts will discuss what democracy and the rule of law mean in Europe, how these principles are put into practice, and how they can be defended against backsliding.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 770142.


Week 1

Introduction to the European Union, its evolution, institutions and common values.

Week 2

Introduction to the concept and principles of democracy and the challenges democracy faces today.

Week 3

Introduction to the practices of democracy in the EU and national parliaments of the member states as well as citizen engagement in democratic systems.

Week 4

Introduction to the rule of law as a concept and its integration in the EU legal framework.

Week 5

Introduction to the rule of law practices and the EU’s toolbox to enforce rule of law compliance in the member states.

Week 6

Introduction to different policy areas of the EU and how they are intertwined with the democracy and rule of law debate in the EU.

Taught by

Jan Wouters, Joelle Grogan, Julinda Beqiraj, Ben Crum, Camille Kelbel, Petra Bárd, Pieter de Wilde, Lise Rye, Paul Blokker, Dimitry Kochenov, Sylvia Kritzinger, Elina Pirjatanniemi, Kolja Raube, Axel Marx, Amichai Magen, Laurent Pech, Cristina Fasone, Oliver Treib and Anna-Luise Chané


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