European Commission releases its third annual Rule of Law Report: Europe yawns

The European Commission has released its third annual Rule of Law Report. The report focuses on justice systems, anti-corruption frameworks, media freedom and pluralism, and institutional checks and balances.

For the first time, the report contains country specific recommendations on the rule of law and suggests concrete actions to be taken by Member States. However, the report does not indicate how the Commission will follow up on these recommendations, if not complied with.

The report focuses on justice systems, anti-corruption frameworks, media freedom and pluralism, and institutional checks and balances. For the first time, the report contains country specific recommendations on the rule of law and suggests concrete actions to be taken by Member States. However, the report does not indicate how the Commission will follow up on these recommendations, if not complied with.

Reacting, Terry Reintke MEP, Greens/EFA Vice President and European Parliament Rapporteur on the 2021 Rule of Law Report, said, “We welcome that the Commission is taking a more proactive stance in issuing recommendations to member states in this year’s report, as called for by the Parliament.

“However, this sharper analysis is not met with a sharper bite. This report does not go beyond descriptive analysis, nor does it prescribe clear actions. With extremely worrying breaches of fundamental rights, women’s rights and LGBTIQ rights in countries such as Poland or Hungary, we need far clearer action from the Commission.

“The Commission has not given concrete deadlines for compliance with its recommendations nor does it link non-compliance to an Article 7 procedure or the conditionality mechanism. This report is a missed opportunity. It reads more like a lukewarm attempt to save the reputation of the Commission, rather than a strong and united resolve to fight for the rule of law from the guardian of the treaties."

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