On Thursday 6 July, liberal European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourová and Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders presented the annual Rule of Law report, which examines developments across the EU in the last year. The report outlines the situation for Member States’ national justice systems, anti-corruption frameworks, media pluralism and other institutional checks and balances.
According to the report, 65% of last year's recommendations have been fully or partially addressed, contributing to a stabilisation of the rule of law situation across the EU. However, systemic concerns remain in some Member States, and the report calls for immediate and decisive measures to improve and restore the rule of law in those countries.
The report praised Luxembourg, where Prime Minister Xavier Bettel’s government implemented a comprehensive reform created a Council for the Judiciary in line with EU standards, and Estonia after Prime Minister Kaja Kallas carried out reforms aimed at making the legislative process more inclusive and transparent.
“This report is a testimony of our determination to take the rule of law issues extremely seriously and further advance our work and European debate. Rule of law report plays a very important role in this respect,” said Jourová.
“The rule of law report is first and foremost a preventive mechanism that promotes dialogue and mutual trust. Only through this will we be able to reconfirm our common understanding for the rule of law culture in the EU,” she added.
Reynders said: “The report has become a reference. It is the source of European and national debates, but especially since the publication of recommendations in our 2022 edition, the report has become the basis for initiating significant reforms at a national level.”
The report will now be discussed by the European Parliament, Council of the EU, Member States and civil society in their efforts to continue the implementation of recommendations.
Four areas evaluated around the 🇪🇺 for four consecutive years. Annual Rule of Law Report 2023 is out.— Věra Jourová (@VeraJourova) July 5, 2023
It is not a ranking, but a mutual dialogue that provides guidance on how to reinforce our democracy.
The #RuleOfLaw is a label of the EU. A brand of credibility and order.
#RuleOfLaw Report 2023 - I welcome the significant work by the Member States to progress on so many of the 2022 recommendations.— Didier Reynders (@dreynders) July 5, 2023
At the same time, more remains to be done and I invite them to continue their efforts. ⤵️ https://t.co/XUs7w5yQeb pic.twitter.com/O0SOBrdSZo
Photo: © European Union, 2023 - Source: EC Audiovisual Service