This article takes the proliferation of EU soft law instruments in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to analyse their effects and challenges to democracy and rule of law in the EU posed by the use of EU soft law in the implementation of EU law. A proposal will be made for a general legal framework on the adoption of administrative EU soft law in order to address them. Enhancing the legitimacy of EU governance requires a general legal framework that introduces minimum procedural, transparency and participatory safeguards and foresees looser rules for urgent soft measures. The article thus makes an original contribution by reconsidering the debate about EU soft law in the context of COVID-19 soft law with a view to its salience for domestic implementation of EU law and by developing core elements of a general legal framework.
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