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Document selected : B8-0523/2018

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B8-0523/2018

Debates :

Votes :

OJ 14/11/2018 - 65

Texts adopted :


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 268kWORD 50k
7.11.2018
PE624.231v01-00
 
B8-0523/2018

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the need for a comprehensive EU mechanism for the protection of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights  (2018/2886(RSP))


Frank Engel on behalf of the PPE Group
Birgit Sippel, Josef Weidenholzer, Claude Moraes, Tanja Fajon on behalf of the S&D Group
Sophia in ’t Veld on behalf of the ALDE Group
Judith Sargentini, Reinhard Bütikofer, Benedek Jávor, Jean Lambert on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Dennis de Jong
AMENDMENTS

European Parliament resolution on the need for a comprehensive EU mechanism for the protection of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights  (2018/2886(RSP))  
B8‑0523/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2016 with recommendations to the Commission on the establishment of an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF)(1),

–  having regard to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, and the conventions, recommendations, resolutions and reports of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Committee of Ministers, the Human Rights Commissioner and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe,

–  having regard to the European Court of Auditors Opinion No 1/2018 concerning the proposal of 2 May 2018 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States,

–  having regard to the Fundamental Rights Report 2018 of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 11 March 2014 entitled ‘A new EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law’ (COM(2014)0158),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2018 on a proposal calling on the Council to determine, pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union, the existence of a clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values on which the Union is founded(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 1 March 2018 on the Commission’s decision to activate Article 7(1) TEU as regards the situation in Poland(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2017 on the rule of law in Malta(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 April 2018 on protection of investigative journalists in Europe: the case of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová(5),

–  having regard to its plenary debate on the rule of law in Romania held on 3 October 2018,

–  having regard to its resolution of 1 March 2018 on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU in 2016(6),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 2 May 2018 for a Council regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027 (COM(2018)0322),

–  having regard to the 2018 EU Justice Scoreboard,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, and whereas these values are common to the Member States;

B.  whereas the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights are in a triangular relationship, reinforcing each other and together safeguarding the constitutional core of the EU and its Member States;

C.  whereas in 2014, the Commission established a rule of law framework; whereas this framework has only been used once, and whereas this instrument has proven insufficient to prevent or remedy threats to the rule of law;

D.  whereas the European Union does not have an objective and permanent mechanism in place to monitor democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law in all Member States;

E.  whereas the 2018 EU Justice Scoreboard indicates that challenges remain in terms of the functioning of Member States’ justice systems as well as in terms of the impact of certain reforms carried out in Member States;

F.  whereas there is a high number of pending infringement procedures in the field of justice, fundamental rights and citizenship(7);

G.  whereas the FRA has published several reports that highlight challenges to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in various Member States, on issues such as the shrinking space for civil society organisations in Europe(8);

H.  whereas ad hoc responses to threats to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights have been witnessed, leading to widely differing approaches in different Member States;

I.  whereas the Article 7(1) procedure has been initiated by the Commission in light of the situation in Poland, and the same procedure has been initiated by the European Parliament in light of the situation in Hungary;

J.  whereas its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs has established a Rule of Law Monitoring Group that has started its work in relation to the murders of investigative journalists and the rule of law;

K.  whereas these EU responses are primarily reactive rather than preventive, and are hampered by the uneven and politicised attention paid to challenges to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in different Member States;

L.  whereas on 2 May 2018, the Commission published a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States (COM(2018)0324);

M.  whereas the European Court of Auditors opinion on the proposal for a regulation underlined the need to further clarify the sources of guidance and procedures by which generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States can be established(9);

N.  whereas previous EU Anti-Corruption reports and the 2018 European Semester country reports point to serious concerns as regards corruption in various Member States, thereby eroding citizens’ trust in institutions and the rule of law;

O.  whereas the challenges to the rule of law and democracy in Member States put the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, founded on the rebuttable presumption (praesumptio iuris tantum) of mutual trust, at risk;

P.  whereas the challenges to the rule of law and democracy in Member States put the legitimacy of the Union’s external action at risk, particularly in relation to its accession and neighbourhood policies;

Q.  whereas all institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union are obliged to respect, protect and promote democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights;

R.  whereas the Union has still not acceded to the ECHR, in spite of its obligation to do so under Article 6(2) TEU;

S.  whereas the Commission and the Council have not acted upon Parliament’s resolution on an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, and have thus far refused to adopt the interinstitutional agreement on the EU Pact for DRF;

1.  Regrets the fact that the Commission has not yet presented a proposal for a comprehensive EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, and calls on the Commission to do so, in particular by proposing the adoption of the interinstitutional agreement on the EU Pact for DRF in its forthcoming non-legislative initiative to strengthen the enforcement of the rule of law in the European Union;

2.  Reiterates its call for a comprehensive, permanent and objective EU mechanism for the protection of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, and underlines that such a mechanism is more urgently needed now than ever before;

3.  Reiterates the main elements of such a mechanism as proposed by Parliament in the form of an interinstitutional Pact for DRF consisting of an annual evidence-based and non-discriminatory review assessing, on an equal footing, all EU Member States’ compliance with the values stipulated in Article 2, with country-specific recommendations (the European DRF Report) to be followed by an interparliamentary debate, and a permanent DRF Policy Cycle within the EU institutions;

4.  Reiterates that the European DRF Report must incorporate and complement existing instruments, including the Justice Scoreboard, the Media Pluralism Monitor, the Anti-Corruption Report, and peer evaluation procedures based on Article 70 TFEU, and replace the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania; regrets the decision by the Commission not to publish the EU Anti-Corruption Report in 2017;

5.  Calls on the Commission to consider linking its proposed regulation on the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States with a comprehensive, permanent and objective EU mechanism for the protection of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights;

6.  Calls on the Council to agree to commit itself to the interinstitutional agreement on the Pact for DRF, and to support further proposals from the Commission to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights;

7.  Considers that, if the Commission and Council continue to reject the establishment of a Pact for DRF, Parliament could take the initiative to launch a pilot DRF report and an interparliamentary debate;

8.  Calls on the Council to properly assume its institutional role in the ongoing procedures in the framework of Article 7(1) TEU, and to inform Parliament immediately and fully at all stages of the procedure;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and the Council, and to the parliaments and governments of the Member States, as well as to the European Committee of the Regions for distribution to subnational parliaments and councils.

 

(1)

OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 162.

(2)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0340.

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0055.

(4)

OJ C 356, 4.10.2018, p. 29.

(5)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0183.

(6)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0056.

(7)

 http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/applying-eu-law/infringements-proceedings/infringement_decisions/index.cfm?lang_code=EN&typeOfSearch=true&active_only=1&noncom=0&r_dossier=&decision_date_from=&decision_date_to=&PressRelease=true&DG=JUST&title=&submit=Search

(8)

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Challenges facing civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU, Vienna, 18 January 2018.

(9)

European Court of Auditors, Opinion No 1/2018 of 17 July 2018 concerning the proposal of 2 May 2018 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States.

Last updated: 8 November 2018Legal notice