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The European project was founded on the advancement of liberal democracy where the rule of law and respect for human rights have a central place. In a period of ‘instability’ in the Union where organisational changes to national judiciaries have raised fears over rule of law backsliding amongMember States threatening the functioning of the EU’s legal order, the main aim of this article is to explore the operationalisation of the rule of law as a founding value of the EU and its connection to European integration. To demonstrate that there is a developing jurisprudence in the EU legal order towards increased justiciability ofthe rule oflaw. The article in part 2 examines the proposition that the operationalisation of the rule of law and European integration is linked to a substantive rights based conception of the rule of law as a basis for the jurisprudential shift. Part 3 looks at the normative arguments for protecting the rule of law in the EU. Finally, Part 4 analyses the operationalisation of the rule of law in the jurisprudence of the CJEU, in which it is argued there is three lines of argumentation for the operationalisation of the rule of law in the case law of the CJEU.
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