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The Malaise of Liberal Democracy in the EU: Heading for the “Point of No Return”?

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The Malaise of Liberal Democracy in the EU:
Heading for the “Point of No Return”?

Apostolos Samaras

Attorney at Law, LLM - PhD Candidate in European Law
at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

The European Union (EU) tries to recover from an existential crisis; but is there any way out of the labyrinth? This essay examines the current malaise of liberal democracy in the EU and argues that democratic political leaderships have a duty to cooperate so that Europe returns to the path of reason. Ten years since its entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Union’s flaws have become worryingly visible; fear and uncertainty over the future create a dangerous mix. The EU is complicated, it still faces leadership challenges and remains a work in progress. Democracy is in danger and its decline is certainly getting perilously close to the “point of no re­turn”. The continuous crises highlighted the problems of the Union and the terrible weaknesses of the overall political system. In the meantime, some forces prefer the formation of a new fragmented and vulnerable Europe, where the rule of law, sustainable development and respect for human rights will not be guaranteed. If the populist bloc gets stronger, it will shape the future political agenda of the Union. Therefore, a new common vision for the defense of liberal democracy is needed. Above all, the EU must protect the ideals that it wants to stand for.

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