Partisan Complicity in Democratic Backsliding


  • Fabio Wolkenstein



Recent developments in Hungary and Poland have made democratic backsliding a major issue of concern within the European Union (EU). This article focuses on the secondary agents that facilitate democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland: the European People’s Party (EPP), which has continually protected the Hungarian Fidesz government from EU sanctions, and the Hungarian ruling party Fidesz, which repeatedly promised to block any EU-level sanctions against Poland in the Council. The article analyses these agents’ behaviour as an instance of transnational complicity and passes a tentative judgment as to which of the two cases is normatively more problematic. The analysis has implications for possible countervailing responses to democratic backsliding within EU member states.