European Union: Be ambitious when it comes to rule of law

European Partnership for Democracy

The European Union’s annual rule of law report is an important tool for strengthening the Union’s foundational values: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights. It covers all 27 EU member states and examines the state of the judiciary, press freedom, corruption, and other vital issues. As the European Union’s rule of law reporting cycle has entered its third edition, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and 24 other civil society networks and organisations from across the EU, have come together to put forward suggestions on EU-wide and country-specific recommendations to strengthen the review process.

This includes suggestions to reinforce the reports’ impact, by formulating concrete recommendations and ensuring follow-up, make the reports enforceable and strengthen their ties with other mechanisms aimed at ensuring accountability for rule of law violations.

The 25 undersigned civil society groups also issue recommendations to make the process more transparent and inclusive by facilitating meaningful stakeholder participation, and to act upon civil society recommendations for EU-wide reforms in areas such as judicial independence, press freedom, emergency legislation’s impact on the rule of law and human rights and civic space.

The statement is complemented by a non-public working document, gathering country-specific recommendations that have been shared with the European Commission to inform the report. It follows up on previous recommendations issued by civil society in 2021.

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