Under Article 2 TEU, the EU is founded on the shared values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights.
Article 7 TEU establishes two mechanisms (preventive and sanctioning mechanisms) to enforce European Union values in cases of systemic violations and to sanction Member States departing from them. The sanctions mechanism empowers the Council to suspend certain membership rights of a Member State, including voting rights in the Council in cases of a 'serious and persistent breach' of EU values (Article 7(2)TFEU)’. However, these mechanisms require a high decision-making threshold in the Council and in the European Parliament (when Parliament is called to participate) and rely heavily on Member States’ willingness to take action.
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