Keywords: European Rule of Law; Gerichtsverbund; European Public Law; Preliminary Reference Procedure.
This article deals with the current European rule of law crisis. It does so by analyzing the recent ECJ's judgment in re LM and by considering its possible ramifications for the future of the rule of law in the EU. In particular, it is argued that, as a result of this judgment, the European rule of law as provided for by Art. 2 TEU has become a legally enforceable value. The ECJ has indeed made clear that this value features a set of minimum standards that the Member States cannot bluntly disregard. In the present context, which is characterized by the inaction of the supranational and national political institutions, a prominent role in safeguarding a liberal understanding of the European rule of law is played by the entire European judiciary (the so-called "Gerichtsverbund"), including national courts and tribunals.