On Tuesday, MEPs debated about the need for a comprehensive Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights (DRF) mechanism. Over the past years, attacks on the rule of law have been on the rise within the EU, but our capacity to respond has been limited. ALDE had been strongly advocating a comprehensive and evidence-based approach, and came forward with the proposal of the DRF Pact already two years ago but Commission and Council have been persistently obstructing the set-up of an EU-wide mechanism. Today ALDE is proposing a new way forward.
Sophie in 't Veld ALDE First Vice-President said during the debate: "In today’s EU, independent judges are dismissed, journalists are threatened and even murdered, NGOs are harassed and intimidated. So why has the Commission so far failed to act on our proposal? I propose the European Parliament starts its own annual cycle, including a DRF report and plenary debate on the state of Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental rights. It should be an inter-parliamentary process, in tandem with national parliaments, monitoring all EU member states every year, and not just a few when they make the news. Democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights cannot defend themselves. We have to stand up for them, or they will perish."