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Protection of the Union's budget in case of 'rule of law' deficiencies

15-12-2020

On 10 December 2020, the European Council reached an agreement on the implementation of the regulation linking EU funding to respect for the rule of law. Hungary and Poland, in opposing this new mechanism, had been blocking the Union’s new budget but have now agreed to a compromise. The regulation on the rule of law is part of the package on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 and the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. The Parliament is due to vote in December at second reading ...

On 10 December 2020, the European Council reached an agreement on the implementation of the regulation linking EU funding to respect for the rule of law. Hungary and Poland, in opposing this new mechanism, had been blocking the Union’s new budget but have now agreed to a compromise. The regulation on the rule of law is part of the package on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 and the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. The Parliament is due to vote in December at second reading on the agreed text.

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 19 November 2020

24-11-2020

Initially planned to discuss only the EU response to the coronavirus pandemic, recent developments required EU leaders to dedicate attention to other issues during the European Council video-conference meeting of 19 November 2020. In this context, they addressed notably the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), specifically the rule-of-law conditionality linked to the MFF, and the fight against terrorism. While the vast majority of Member States agree with the compromise reached between negotiators ...

Initially planned to discuss only the EU response to the coronavirus pandemic, recent developments required EU leaders to dedicate attention to other issues during the European Council video-conference meeting of 19 November 2020. In this context, they addressed notably the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), specifically the rule-of-law conditionality linked to the MFF, and the fight against terrorism. While the vast majority of Member States agree with the compromise reached between negotiators from the Council and the European Parliament on the issue of rule-of-law conditionality, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia are currently not able to support it. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, indicated that discussions to find an acceptable solution for all would continue. The exchange of information on the coronavirus pandemic focused in particular on the development of vaccines, ensuring that they would be available and affordable to all EU citizens, and on the coordination of the exit from the second-wave restrictions. The European Council agreed once more to further strengthen coordination of action against the coronavirus pandemic.

Strengthening media freedom in the EU

19-11-2020

The EU is actively engaged in protecting the independence and safety of journalists as crucial components of the proper democratic functioning of its institutions and Member States. Media freedom, however, has been deteriorating in recent years. Threats, harassment, public shaming and even assassinations of media actors are on the rise. At its November II plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote on an own-initiative report concerned with strengthening media freedom. The report emphasises ...

The EU is actively engaged in protecting the independence and safety of journalists as crucial components of the proper democratic functioning of its institutions and Member States. Media freedom, however, has been deteriorating in recent years. Threats, harassment, public shaming and even assassinations of media actors are on the rise. At its November II plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote on an own-initiative report concerned with strengthening media freedom. The report emphasises that combating media capture, hate speech and misinformation is fundamental when it comes to defending the rule of law and democracy in the EU.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, October I 2020

09-10-2020

During the first October 2020 plenary session in Brussels, Parliament held a debate on the rule of law and fundamental rights in the context of introducing conditionality measures in the framework of the 2021 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) and Next Generation EU. In parallel, Parliament's negotiating team on the next MFF announced a pause in talks, due to concerns over the Council's lack of engagement on the key issue of top-ups for 15 flagship EU programmes. Parliament also discussed ...

During the first October 2020 plenary session in Brussels, Parliament held a debate on the rule of law and fundamental rights in the context of introducing conditionality measures in the framework of the 2021 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) and Next Generation EU. In parallel, Parliament's negotiating team on the next MFF announced a pause in talks, due to concerns over the Council's lack of engagement on the key issue of top-ups for 15 flagship EU programmes. Parliament also discussed the conclusions of the special European Council meeting of 1 2 October and the preparations for the next regular European Council meeting, on 15 16 October 2020. Parliament approved the allocation of new responsibilities to Executive Vice-President of the Commission Valdis Dombrovskis and approved the appointment of Mairead McGuinness as member of the European Commission. Parliament also debated the role of the European Supervisory Authorities in the Wirecard scandal, on the fight against money laundering, following the FinCEN revelations, and on the impact of the Covid 19 outbreak on long-term care facilities. Parliament debated statements from the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell, on the resumption of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, on the EU diplomatic mission in Venezuela, and on the situation in Iran.

An EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights

02-10-2020

Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) enshrines the Union's founding values. As these shared values are binding on Member States and the European Union (EU) institutions, several mechanisms have been created to promote them and ensure they are respected. EU institutions have made several proposals to strengthen the mechanisms. Parliament is due to vote during the October I plenary session on a legislative-initiative report proposing to integrate and reinforce them through an EU mechanism ...

Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) enshrines the Union's founding values. As these shared values are binding on Member States and the European Union (EU) institutions, several mechanisms have been created to promote them and ensure they are respected. EU institutions have made several proposals to strengthen the mechanisms. Parliament is due to vote during the October I plenary session on a legislative-initiative report proposing to integrate and reinforce them through an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF).

An EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights

30-09-2020

This European Added Value Assessment assesses the potential added value of an EU pact on Democracy the Rule of law and Fundamental rights covering all Member States as proposed by the European Parliament, comparing it to the European Commission's approach in its annual rule of law report, which only covers the rule of law and further integration requiring Treaty change. It concludes that the pact proposed by the European Parliament would lead to significant benefits in terms of more effective monitoring ...

This European Added Value Assessment assesses the potential added value of an EU pact on Democracy the Rule of law and Fundamental rights covering all Member States as proposed by the European Parliament, comparing it to the European Commission's approach in its annual rule of law report, which only covers the rule of law and further integration requiring Treaty change. It concludes that the pact proposed by the European Parliament would lead to significant benefits in terms of more effective monitoring and enforcement of EU values. An approximation of its potential positive effects on the EU economy indicates annual gains of €413 billion corresponding to 3.3 % of EU GDP, far outweighing the costs of its development.

Protecting EU common values within the Member States: An overview of monitoring, prevention and enforcement mechanisms at EU level

25-09-2020

This study analyses the existing and proposed mechanisms available to the institutions of the EU that may be deployed in order to monitor and enforce the observance of EU values by the Member States. More specifically, the study addresses the status and meaning of EU values (Article 2 TEU) and also discusses existing monitoring and preventive mechanisms (European Semester, EU Justice Scoreboard, Commission's rule of law framework, the Council's dialogues on the rule of law, and the preventive arm ...

This study analyses the existing and proposed mechanisms available to the institutions of the EU that may be deployed in order to monitor and enforce the observance of EU values by the Member States. More specifically, the study addresses the status and meaning of EU values (Article 2 TEU) and also discusses existing monitoring and preventive mechanisms (European Semester, EU Justice Scoreboard, Commission's rule of law framework, the Council's dialogues on the rule of law, and the preventive arm of Article 7 TEU) and enforcement mechanisms (preliminary reference rulings, infringement procedures and the sanctions arm of Article 7 TEU)). It also analyses a number of proposed mechanisms: the pact on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights; rule of law review cycle; reviewed Council dialogues on the rule of law; and the rule of law budgetary conditionality.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, September 2020

18-09-2020

The September 2020 plenary session was the sixth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament's Bureau, although a majority were again present in Brussels. As well as the Commission President's traditional State of the Union address, Parliament held a joint debate on the risk of breach of the rule of law and LGBTI-free zones in Poland. Parliament also debated European Commission statements on the preparation of the special ...

The September 2020 plenary session was the sixth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament's Bureau, although a majority were again present in Brussels. As well as the Commission President's traditional State of the Union address, Parliament held a joint debate on the risk of breach of the rule of law and LGBTI-free zones in Poland. Parliament also debated European Commission statements on the preparation of the special European Council focusing on Turkey's actions in the eastern Mediterranean, on the consequences for the single market of EU coordination of sanitary measures in the ongoing pandemic, on combatting sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and on the need for a humanitarian EU response to the situation in the Moria refugee camp. Parliament also debated statements from the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell, on the situation in Belarus, in Lebanon and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Parliament also voted on legislative proposals and resolutions, including on arms exports, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU Association Agreement with Georgia, protecting world forests, EU-African security cooperation in the Sahel, type approval of motor vehicles and the importance of urban and green infrastructure.

Addressing violations of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights

11-09-2020

The common values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF) lie at the heart of the European integration process and are central to the values of the European Union (EU). In practice, however, individual and collective (lack of) Member State action can undermine these common values. This situation applied before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, but some of the national measures taken since the outbreak of the pandemic have tested the resilience of these values further. More ...

The common values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF) lie at the heart of the European integration process and are central to the values of the European Union (EU). In practice, however, individual and collective (lack of) Member State action can undermine these common values. This situation applied before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, but some of the national measures taken since the outbreak of the pandemic have tested the resilience of these values further. More generally, the EU's response to DRF violations has so far not comprehensively tackled the problem. The status quo can result in impunity for criminal activities, as prosecutors are unwilling or unable to take on certain cases, as well as violations of human dignity and fundamental rights. It also denies opportunities for individuals to live out their human potential, and take advantage of economic opportunities, as well as eroding the basis for mutual trust among national administrative and judicial authorities. This Briefing puts forward a set of proposals aimed at enhancing the EU's resilience to DRF violations. It focuses in particular on possibilities for the European Parliament and national parliaments, with their dual mandate from EU citizens, to jointly strengthen their monitoring and investigative capabilities. In particular, they could build on their general resources to evaluate the implementation of (EU) law and further coordinate their tools to ensure the democratic accountability of Member State governments.

Protecting, promoting and projecting Europe's values and interests in the world

11-09-2020

In its foreign policy, the European Union (EU) is committed to 'promoting its values and interests', which include democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law, pluralism, peace and security, and multilateralism. Worldwide, however, the values and interests that the EU stands for are under mounting pressure, pressure that the pandemic has further intensified. Growing strategic great power rivalry − witnessed in the 'extraterritorialisation' of US-China tensions, growing pressure on human rights ...

In its foreign policy, the European Union (EU) is committed to 'promoting its values and interests', which include democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law, pluralism, peace and security, and multilateralism. Worldwide, however, the values and interests that the EU stands for are under mounting pressure, pressure that the pandemic has further intensified. Growing strategic great power rivalry − witnessed in the 'extraterritorialisation' of US-China tensions, growing pressure on human rights, and the (strategic) undermining of multilateralism − have left something of a moral global leadership vacuum. The need to reinforce the protection, promotion and projection of the EU's values and interests in the world has thus become much more pressing. At the same time, attacks on democracy worldwide during the pandemic have sparked increased global public awareness about fundamental rights, equality and human dignity – values at the heart of the European project. In this sense, the pandemic could be a turning-point when the EU seizes the moment to protect, promote and project its values and visions for the common global good in the century ahead.

Kommande evenemang

22-04-2021
Joint FEMM-EMPL Public Hearing on Pay Transparency
Utfrågning -
FEMM EMPL
22-04-2021
The need for better EU policies for health (online event)
Seminarium -
STOA
23-04-2021
EPRS' Fifth Annual Forum on Comparative Law
Övrigt -
EPRS

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