European Commission publishes first EU-wide rule of law report

European Commission publishes first EU-wide rule of law report

The European Commission has published its first EU-wide report on the rule of law, which includes input from every member state and covers both positive and negative developments across the EU.

The report shows that many member states have high rule of law standards, but highlights important challenges to the rule of law in the EU.

It also reflects relevant developments stemming from the emergency measures taken by member states due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The new report aims to enlarge the existing EU toolbox with a new preventive tool and kick-start an inclusive debate and rule of law culture across the EU.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said: “The rule of law and our shared values are the foundation of our societies. They are part of our common identity as Europeans.

“The rule of law protects people from the rule of the powerful. While we have very high rule of law standards in the EU, we also have various challenges. The European Commission will continue working with the national authorities to find solutions, to guarantee people’s everyday rights and freedoms.”

Vice-president for values and transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “Today we are filling an important gap in our rule of law toolbox. The new report for the first time looks at all member states equally to identify rule of law trends and help to prevent serious problems from arising.

“Each citizen deserves to have access to independent judges, to benefit from free and pluralistic media and to trust that their fundamental rights are respected. Only then, can we call ourselves a true Union of democracies.”

Commissioner for justice and consumers, Didier Reynders, said: “The new rule of law report is the start of an open and regular dialogue with every member state, a way in which we can share good practices and pre-empt challenges before they become entrenched.

“The goal is to instil a real rule of law culture across the European Union, and trigger a genuine debate at national and EU level.”

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