The Pilnacek case – A challenge also for the European rule of law

With the “Pilnacek” case, the debate on corruption in Austria – ongoing since the „Ibiza affair“ (May 2019) but largely inconclusive so far – is heading for a new high point. The affair showcases massive political influence on the Austrian criminal justice system and proves that it is challenging to bring the problem of corruption under control. One of the main reasons is that Austria has not made the necessary adjustments to the European „acquis communautaire“ since its (relatively late) accession to the EU and keeps ignoring fundamental principles of EU law. Since 2000, there have even been setbacks. The case of Christian Pilnacek illustrates the problem of corruption in Austria in an exemplary manner. Likewise, it underlines the continuing backlog of reforms in Austria and the country’s unwillingness to adjust to the European rule of law.

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