As indicated above, Article 7(1) TEU contains a preventive mechanism that is meant to be applied when there is a ‘clear risk of a serious breach’ of EU values by a Member State. However, this mechanism is not only characterised by its preventive nature, but it has also been described as a highly political tool, taking into account the prevalent role assumed by the Council and the limited jurisdiction of the ECJ over its application (see Figure 3). This specific feature of the mechanism, that is common to its sanctions counterpart (Article 7(2)-(3) TEU), has been criticised by some authors for giving decision-making powers to partisan actors rather than to impartial institutions
Article 7(1) TEU mechanism (preventive arm)
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