On 3 June, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted a report assessing the European Commission's Rule of Law report for 2020. In the report, the situation in all Member States was evaluated by the European Commission to create a map on the state of rule of law in the EU for the first time.
While this is important, Renew Europe stresses that the European Commission's report should serve as more than only a monitoring tool that identifies rule of law breaches. The new annual report has the potential to become a powerful instrument to stop illiberal EU governments from undermining the democratic values of the Union. For that to happen, the actual findings in the report must be combined with concrete legal action, such as - when necessary - infringement procedures and budgetary conditionality.
Michal Šimečka MEP (Progresívne Slovensko, SK), Vice-President of Renew Europe and the Renew Europe Group Shadow Rapporteur on the report, said: "The 2020 European Commission report on the rule of law was a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done. The European Parliament has highlighted the many ways in which the annual monitoring should be improved. The EU needs a better process, larger scope and connection to concrete enforcement action where necessary."
Photo credit: Jan Van De Vel, European Parliament Audiovisual Service 2021.