Coordinating fundamental rights in view of EU accession: challenges and opportunities
Fundamental rights and rule of law are the cornerstones of the functioning of the European Union. In the EU accession negotiation process, Chapter 23 of the EU acquis – Judiciary and fundamental rights – represents the key chapter and simultaneously the most dynamic and challenging one of the whole negotiation process. That is due to its nature, as it encompasses key elements of a functioning democratic society, namely a functioning judiciary; fight against corruption; and fundamental rights. With the 2020 revised enlargement methodology, the chapters of the EU acquis were rearranged, thus creating six clusters. Cluster 1, also called Fundamentals, includes a plethora of topics and carries enormous weight in the whole negotiation process with the fact that it opens firsts and closes last.