EU mechanism on Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights

Rule of law Rule of law
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Different mechanisms and processes exist at EU level to promote, protect and safeguard EU values laid down in Article 2 TEU, in particular, democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. These include legally binding mechanisms such as Article 7 TEU, which allows relevant EU institutions to act in situations where there is ‘a clear risk of a serious breach’ of EU values by a Member State or where there is a serious and persistent breach of EU values laid down in Article 2 TEU.

There are also non-binding or soft law tools, including annual reports prepared by EU institutions covering matters related to Article 2 TEU values. In 2014, both the European Commission and Council introduced two new additional mechanisms: the Commission adopted a new Rule of Law Framework and the Council committed itself to organising a new annual rule of law dialogue between Member States. Data on respect for democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Member States is also collected by other international organisations including the Council of Europe (CoE) and the United Nations (UN), to which all EU Member States are parties.
On 25 October 2016 the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the Commission to submit a proposal for the establishment of an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.