EU law against the emerging social contract of democratic backsliding

Democratic backsliding in the EU poses questions about how to understand and how to remedy it. This paper explains this phenomenon as a search for a specific social contract between the illiberal forces and the societies they seek to govern. Potential and actual responses by European institutions to this very challenge, with the particular emphasis on the ground-breaking potential of infringement procedures for supporting the division of powers in the Member States, are discussed next.