New rule of law report: useful if properly enforced

Rule of law

The EPP Group welcomes today's presentation of the European Commission’s rule of law report, which examines the state of the judiciary, freedom of the media, prevention of corruption, and other vital elements of the rule of law. “For the first time, this year’s report not only presents key developments related to the rule of law in the EU but also provides country-specific recommendations. This should motivate Member States to improve their performance in this crucial area”, said Jeroen Lenaers MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament.

The rule of law is the main pillar of the EU, enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and underpinning all spheres of European integration. Because of the interconnected nature of the EU, breaches in one Member State affect all others and pose an existential threat to the EU as a whole. The annual rule of law report, launched by the Commission in September 2020, is intended to prevent democratic and rule of law backsliding within the EU by providing detailed and objective information about the rule of law situation in each Member State.

“The report is a useful source of information regarding the rule of law in Member States. It is important, however, that the EU goes beyond the mere diagnosis and shows more resolve in the actual enforcement of this fundamental binding norm. Decline of the rule of law in some Member States has already been widely documented. Now, it is important that the findings of the report, including the set of recommendations, feed into enforcement processes such as the procedures under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, infringement procedures before the CJEU and the conditionality mechanism in a more direct way. As long as this does not happen, the effect of the report will be limited”, concluded Lenaers.

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The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States

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