Democracy is under threat in the European Union. Last week during the plenary session of the European Parliament, three debates on fundamental values were held. While it could be perceived as a good sign to have the opportunity to debate European values, this is unfortunately not the case. The sad reality is that core European values are under attack in several EU Member States.
However, the European Union now has an instrument to act when a Member State does not respect its engagements and its citizens. The Rule of Law conditionality mechanism has been effective since 1 January 2021. The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament fought hard achieve this type of mechanism, and now it is time to start using it.
“The Commission has to put the Rule of Law mechanism to immediate use, it was created for exactly this purpose. The instrument must be used to defend the European Union’s citizens and budget from those that want to use the EU solely as a cash machine. Renew Europe will not sit back and watch hard-fought European values fall” said Dacian Cioloș, President of Renew Europe Group.
Warnings and raising concerns are no longer enough. The European Commission must take a more courageous stance and assume its role as guardian of the EU Treaties and the European spirit. When judges from the European Court of Justice are increasingly intervening to uphold the Rule of Law in several Member States, this should raise an alarm signal. The EU should not leave only citizens and judges on the front line in the fight against autocrats.
Renew Europe expects the Commission to uphold the law and act. If not, the Group will make sure the European Parliament uses all means to ensure the Commission will act.