Statehood: the Essential Prerequisite for Law and Liberty

  • John Laughland Institut Catholique des Etudes Supérieures, La Roche-sur-Yon, Vendée
Keywords: statehood, sovereignty, Hungary, Poland, law, liberty


The attempt to subject Poland and Hungary to procedures under EU law for allegedly not respecting European values has its roots both in the supranational nature of the EU project and also in the differing concepts of the nation in the Eastern and Western halves of the continent.  The hegemonic West is deeply post-modern while former Communist states have retained some faith in the nation.  Globalisation generally, and the EU project in particular, are based on functionalist assumptions whose origins lie in the early 19th century, yet these fail to understand the eminently political nature of law: all jurisdictions are rooted in society and the state and it is the role of government to adjudicate between the competing claims of citizens.  This makes it very difficult, impossible even, to formulate universal rights since their formulation and application depend on interpretation, i.e. on jurisdiction, and therefore on the sovereignty of the ultimate decision-maker.