In recent years, infringement of (or non-compliance with) EU law has become a central aspect of research in the realm of European politics. Despite this surge in research, there does not seem to be consensus on how to explain non-compliance with EU law. In other words, which factors contribute to (non-)compliance? Commonly, three different approaches are suggested: enforcement approach; managerial approach; constructivist approach.
In this in-depth study of compliance (which will consist of two parts), we want to suggest another aspect that has been overlooked so far: the democratic quality of member states.
Establishing the non-compliance with EU law: Creating the framework
In a first step, we recall the different types of infringements of EU law and lay out the stages of infrigement procedures. Secondly, we analyse the theoretical framework for explaining non-compliance with EU law. In this context, 3 types of member states and 3 conceptual approaches have been identified:
Three types of Member States as a consequence of a multilayer perspective
Pace-setters (push policies actively); foot-draggers (delaying of costly policies); and fence-sitters do not pursue either).
Why do Member States infringe? – Three distinct approaches
Democratic quality: A new Framework
The relatively recent problem of the EU of backsliding democracy in a number of countries (described in this part with the example of Hungary and Poland) might help us to understand better the compliance records of EU member states. The preliminary remarks on the development of democratic quality as put forward in this first part will be important for our hypothesis laid down in the upcoming contribution. It will be assumed that a stable and high democratic quality, as determined by the V-Dem, has a possitive effect on the compliance record of European states.