The EU has decided that it will take economic action against entire countries that democratically elect candidates it deems to have politically oppositional stances. Why is this? And why is this viewed as a good thing from within European countries? It looks like political repression to me.


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    I decided to downvote this question because I find the title and the question itself unnecessarily sensational, which is either a sign of not having done any research about the actual circumstances or an attempt at spin doctoring. And both are toxic for this site. – Philipp May 25 '16 at 14:23
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    I guess it's because the EU is a form of organization and in every organization there are some kind of rules which must be kind of enforced. Usually the members of the organization agree to the rules and then this is an obligation. In real life, one always faces external constraints one way or the other usually. – Trilarion May 25 '16 at 15:31
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    @Trilarion supression of the rights of the individual is the cost of operating within the EU. Great. – hownowbrowncow May 25 '16 at 16:08
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    @hownowbrowncow Yes, not being a fascist is part of the cost of operating within the EU. And yes, this is indeed great. And no, fighting fascism does not make you a fascist, no matter how often you hear that fallacy from the right-populists. – Philipp May 25 '16 at 17:03
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    @hownowbrowncow To quote Randal Munroe: "Defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express." – Philipp May 25 '16 at 17:48

First I think you need to get your information from more unbiased sources. But apart from that what it is about is that the EU have considered various sanctions (like trade, Eurovision Song Contest or voting rights). The problem with Poland (and Hungary) is that the elected politicians are making moves towards dictatorship and that is something that worries the EU. In the case of Poland it's also about trade with Germany.

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    More information about Poland's new government and why the EU dislikes it can be found in the questions "Why is the polish PiS considered dangerous, but not the UK conservatives?" and "Why do the other EU countries worry about the developments in Poland?". – Philipp May 25 '16 at 14:05
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    What proof do you have that they're "making moves towards dictatorship". Do not having staunch totalitarian communists and socialists within government make every move you're claiming to make against Poland or Hungary? Besides, the EU leadership isn't elected anyway. The EU is already an anti-democratic force. – hownowbrowncow May 25 '16 at 16:13
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    @hownowbrowncow "Besides, the EU leadership isn't elected anyway." Of course it is elected. Directly and indirectly. Either you do not check your sources or you just want to express strong opinions in this question. – Trilarion May 25 '16 at 22:25
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    @Trilarion Did you take a look at the source hownowbrowncow provided in their question? Almost every sentence is engineered to built an anti-EU opinion. The Unionjack in the top left corner should tell the rest of the tale. – user1129682 May 27 '16 at 7:37

The EU does not "stop members from electing democratically representative candidates". EU members are free to vote for whoever they want. But when they vote for people who do not respect the basic values of the European Union, then there might be consequences in form of losing privileges.

The European Union is not a purely economic treaty but also a treaty of values. Article 2 of the treaty of the European Union reads:

The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

All of this is of course quite vague and open to interpretation. But when an organization has a set of political core values defined in its carta, then it is part of its very nature to "repress" any attempts to undermine these values. So when a member state does no longer respect these principles, there have to be consequences.

These consequences are further elaborated on in Article 7, which describes mechanisms by which the EU can sanction any members when the other members believe that the Article 2 values are violated by that state.

When a country is going to elect a government of people who appear to plan to violate the Article 2 values, then explaining the possible consequences to the general public in that country is completely justified.

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    So the EU can sanction countries which are populated by groups of people freely and opening expressing their (minority) political viewpoint through a democratic process. This is the suppression of human rights, suppression of pluralistic society, and suppression of tolerance, justice, solidarity, and equality. It seems that the EU itself is violating the principles in Article 2, not the other way around. – hownowbrowncow May 25 '16 at 16:06
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    @hownowbrowncow That's known as the paradox of tolerance. When you want to promote and defend tolerance, you can not show tolerance for those people who do not. But that's more of a topic for philosophy SE. – Philipp May 25 '16 at 16:36
  • If you agree that these groups should be suppressed then you disagree with Article 2 and you yourself should be subject to sanction. This isn't a paradox but an obvious wielding of an anti-democratic totalitarian hammer that is used to strike political opponents. – hownowbrowncow May 25 '16 at 17:41
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    @hownowbrowncow Countries sanction other countries all the time for policies imposed by democratic governments. Foreign policy involves quite a lot of incentivizing other countries to adopt policies you think are good and disincentivizing policies you think are bad. The EU was founded on certain principles; much of the point of the whole endeavor was to encourage European countries to adopt those principles. It's not like the EU will invade a country that doesn't follow EU principles; it just won't give them all the advantages that are offered as an incentive to adopt the principles. – cpast May 26 '16 at 2:34
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    @NaBUru38 Actually no, the EU can not invade countries. That's what the NATO is for. – Philipp Jun 3 '16 at 8:44

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