Earlier this year; Jean Claude Juncker promoted his former Chief of Staff, Martin Selmayr, to the position of Secretary-General of the Commission in extraordinary circumstances to wide condemnation from many within the European Parliament and media. It was painted as a palace coup within Berlaymont. This exposed the European Union’s very own institutions susceptibility to infringing certain aspects of the rule of law and the Copenhagen Criteria and principles in Art 2 TEU.
We should interpret these principles and criteria in a wider manner; beyond the nation-state. It is imperative that the EU institutions themselves must respect the foundational principles of the Union and the Copenhagen Criteria. How can the Commission possibly lecture member states about the rule of law when they themselves are flexible when it comes to respecting that very foundational principle? The institutions should be practising what they preach, not making foolish political blunders which damage the Union’s reputation and credibility. The Union’s institutions should be a model of these principles for member states, so perfect that is cannot invite criticism from even Eurosceptics.