Convention / Congress

The Rule of Law in the European Union and the Consequences of its Violations

Europe - IMG 92093794:, ©Julien Eichinger
7 February 2022
8 February 2022
Start time 
2:30 pm
Palazzo Paolo Prodi - Via Tommaso Gar 14, Trento
Room 006
School of International Studies, University of Trento
Target audience: 
Free – Registration required
Online – Registration required
Registration deadline: 
7 February 2022, 09:00
Contact person: 
Program Office

Europe, in recent years, has experienced raising attacks and threats to the principle and practice of the 'rule of law' from various political actors, including some member States’ governments and populist parties. These threats to the rule of law have important and dangerous implications for the entire European system. In fact, the attacks have serious consequences not only for the legal order of member States’ countries and the EU, but also, more broadly, for the working of civil and political society. In order to reflect on the causes, the nature and the consequences of these threats to the rule of law in Europe, the School of International Studies of the University of Trento organizes a workshop. The aim of this international and interdisciplinary workshop is to investigate the impact of threats to the rule of law on the quality of European democracy, focusing also on judicial systems and the legal protection of potentially dissenting actors, such as the media, NGOs, professional bodies (e.g. scientific associations) and social movement organizations, and more generally on the protection of fundamental rights.

Monday 7 February h 14.30-18.00

Institutional greetings: Stefano Schiavo, SIS Director

Keynote: For a citizen-centric rule of law agenda: How do we bring the rule of law to life? - Kalypso Nicolaidis  

Panel 1: Democracy, Rule of Law and the EU

Discussant: Manuela Caiani

  • Institutional Arrangement at the EU-Level and the Rule of Law - John Erik Fossum
  • Democracy in Europe: Between a Rock and a Hard Place - Emanuele Massetti
  • The Debate on the Rule of Law in the European Parliament - Carlo Ruzza and Carlo Berti
  • Enhanced Value Conflicts and Crisis of the Rule of Law: Towards a Differentiated European Union of Values? - Hans-Joerg Trenz

Tuesday 8 February h 09.00-18.00

Panel 2: Protection of Fundamental Rights, Civil Society, and the Rule of Law

Discussant: Elsa Tsioumani

  • Civil Litigation as an Instrument for Fighting Climate Change: Protection of Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law in the EU – Luisa Antoniolli
  • ‘Litigious Politics’ and Environmental Activism - Louisa Parks
  • EU Social Policy,Trade Unions, and the Rule of Law - Matteo Borzaga
  • Sustainable Corporate Governance Towards the Promotion of the EU Rule of Law - Sondra Faccio

Panel 3: Rule of Law in the EU and its Challenges

Discussant: Alessandra Russo

  • Historical Perspectives on the Democratic Deficit(s) - Umberto Tulli
  • Rule of Law: Conditionality or Sustainability: What Goes Wrong in the (Pre-)Accession Process in the Western Balkans? - Jens Woelk
  • The Meaning of Rule of Law within the EU Legal System and in the Light of the Restrictive Measures Adopted in the Field of Common Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) - Antonino Alì
  • Anatomy of Penal Populism: How Populist Punitiveness Can Erode the Rule of Law - Manuel Anselmi
  • Populism, Constitutional Politics, and (Un-)Civil Society - Paul Blokker


Panel 4: Political Communication, Populism and the Rule of Law

Discussant: Ivan Tranfić

  • The Epistemic Vices of Mass Democracies in the Age of Populism - Luigi Bonatti
  • Governing the Pandemic, between State of Emergency and Rule of Law. Democracy and its Balance in the Political Communication of Angela Merkel and Viktor Orbán - Flaminia Saccà and Luca Massidda
  • Predictors of Populism and Anti-Populism: A Comparative Analysis in Europe - Stefano Benati and Carlo Ruzza
  • Gender Rights and Opposition to Populism - Milena Meo and Valentina Raffa

Final Roundtable

Luisa Antoniolli, John Erik Fossum, Andrea Fracasso, Louisa Parks, Carlo Ruzza, Ivan Tranfić, Hans-Jeorg Trenz.


  • Antonino Alì, University of Trento
  • Manuel Anselmi, University of Bergamo
  • Luisa Antoniolli, University of Trento
  • Stefano Benati, University of Trento
  • Carlo Berti, University of Trento
  • Paul Blokker, University of Bologna
  • Luigi Bonatti, University of Trento
  • Matteo Borzaga, University of Trento
  • Manuela Caiani, SNS, Florence, Pisa
  • Sondra Faccio, University of Trento
  • John Erik Fossum, Arena, Oslo
  • Emanuele Massetti, University of Trento
  • Luca Massidda, University of Tuscia
  • Milena Meo, University of Messina
  • Kalypso Nicolaidis, EUI, Florence
  • Louisa Parks, University of Trento
  • Valentina Raffa, University of Messina
  • Alessandra Russo, University of Trento
  • Carlo Ruzza, University of Trento
  • Flaminia Saccà, University of Tuscia
  • Ivan Tranfić, SNS, Florence, Pisa
  • Hans-Jeorg Trenz, SNS, Florence, Pisa
  • Elsa Tsioumani, University of Trento
  • Umberto Tulli, University of Trento
  • Jens Woelk, University of Trento

The Event is co-financed by the Grant PRIN 2017 “Populism and Anti-Populism in EU Institutions” – Project Code 2017JEZ4NP.


Pre-registration is mandatory: you may access to the pre-registration form clicking 'Pre-registration'.

Pre-registered auditors who cannot attend the Conference in person may contact the Program Office (events.sis [at] to ask for the Zoom link to access the Conference remotely.