Since 1945 we have been building a new kind of politics on our continent. Just as we learned to limit national governments’ power to do what they liked to their own citizens, we restricted their freedom to do what they liked to each other, and to each others’ citizens.
We’ve done this by creating liberal democratic institutions within states: independent courts, pluralistic media, impartial public administration and a private sector protected from capture by politicians. And by making a European legal system and political institutions to bring peace between states.
This programme limits politicians’ power to abuse their citizens, incite the mob, use taxpayers’ money for party political ends, steal from the public though corruption, and use violence against their neighbours, even when those politicians have been elected to office. It’s name is familiar: liberal democracy.
It has come under attack from national populists who think that getting elected gives them a blank cheque to override their constitutions, spew out state-funded propaganda, stir up hate against minorities, replace experts with loyal hacks, and extort businesses that don’t toe the party line.
Across Europe, thousands of journalists, activists, politicians, academics and business people are fighting back: defending fundamental human rights, exposing disinformation and corruption, and resisting state capture. Much of this work is technical and highly skilled. We’re missing a place to bring all their work together and popularise it.
Article 7 will be that place.
We’re going to start with
Our newshound, a daily-round up of the most important articles that everyone involved in defending liberal democracy and the rule of law in Europe should read.
The Line, sharp editorials giving Article 7’s new on major events, initiatives and votes.
Debate, a space dedicated discussing to liberal democracy and the rule of law in Europe
In the future we’ll create events centre bringing togethe events, seminars, and webinars in this area. This means we’ll be hiring.
And stay tuned for much more.
The values of liberal democracy don’t enforce themselves. They have to be upheld by political and legal institutions. In the EU treaties, Article 2 sets out the values, and Article 7 is a mechanism to enforce them. We’re dedicated to joining the fight to enforce these values.