For several years, media outlets and independent democratic organizations have come under systematic pressure in many European countries. Minority rights are under attack. Even the independence of the judiciary is now open to question. The belief in self-correction in democratic societies continues to wane. The troublesome situation in Hungary and Poland is not just a national matter of European Union law being misapplied in specific member states. Various regulations and sanctions do offer some hope in the situation, including Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) with the EU framework for strengthening the rule of law as well as the rule of law mechanism. But will stricter monitoring and more consistent enforcement be enough? Perhaps what is missing is a consistent commitment to democratic checks and balances? In this context, Germany’s foreign and European policies need to do more to support cross-border democracy. My article in Internationale Politik Quarterly.