The abstract follows; the article can be found here.
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Today, the European Union (EU) is confronting a new democratic deficit at the national level. A number of EU member states have experienced an erosion of democracy and the rule of law in recent years, most severely in Hungary and Poland. Drawing on different strands of political science research, the contributions to this section debate the strengths and weaknesses of the various safeguards and tactics the EU has deployed or might deploy to resist democratic backsliding by member governments. This brief introduction raises the main questions of the debate: how politically feasible is the application of existing and proposed EU safeguards, and what are the likely consequences, intended as well as unintended, of various judicial and political approaches?