The EC’s Rule of Law reports are a positive step forward, but they must be part of a more comprehensive strategy
Brussels, 30 September 2020
On 30 September, the European Commission published its annual report with country chapters assessing the Rule of Law in all 27 Members States. This initiative is a result of continued pressure by the European Parliament to monitor developments of Rule of Law, which is one of the EU’s foundational principles as stipulated by Article 2 TEU.
On Monday, 5 October 2020, the report on the Establishment of an EU Mechanism on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights will be discussed in Plenary.
Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup in the European Parliament and Renew Europe Coordinator for the LIBE Committee, comments:
We strongly welcome the reports on the Rule of Law, an exercise done in relation to all the Member States without discrimination. We also expect the Commission to put forward concrete recommendations to address the ongoing infringement procedures. However, let us be clear: despite crucial, rule of law is but one of the several grounds encompassed in article 2 TEU, which also refers to democracy and fundamental rights. It is high time the Commission implements the Parliament’s call for a comprehensive “Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Mechanism” covering the full scope of Article 2 of the EU Treaty.
Malin Björk MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup in the European Parliament, concludes:
For too long, the rollback of fundamental rights has been ignored by the Commission and this encompasses the rights of minorities, women and LGBTI persons. As European Parliament, we called on several occasions for a monitoring mechanism which also assesses comprehensively the backlash on human rights, especially those of LGBTI persons, which have faced continued attacks in certain Member States. After President von der Leyen’s “State of the EU” speech, we expect the Commission to match the bold claims with actions: namely, to present a clear legislative proposal for the extension of hate crime and speech grounds to sexual orientation and gender identity.
 Legislative initiative report, Rapporteur: Michal Šimečka, available at https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2020/2072(INL)
Office of Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP – Leonhard Den Hertog (Leonhard.DenHertog@europarl.europa.eu)
Office of Malin Björk MEP – Lotta Narvehed (Charlotta.Narvehed@europarl.europa.eu)