The European Commission’s annual Rule of Law Report is an entirely new phenomenon in order to underscore the importance of Member States’ commitment to core requirements and values.
Last year came the first report. Now comes the second report.
“The second version shows that member states can make progress in the area of the rule of law. But this has happened at a disproportionate pace and there is cause for serious concern in a number of member states, especially with regard to the independence of the judiciary,” EU Commissioner for Values Vera Jourova said in a press release. “.
Hungary and Poland
Particular concern is evident with regard to developments in Hungary and Poland – two countries against which the European Commission has already launched a series of scrutiny measures.
“Reforms of the Polish judiciary . . . remains a matter of grave concern,” stated the Polish part of the report.
Hungary states, for example, that “the risk of high nepotism and nepotism in the public sector and the risks arising from communications between companies and political actors have not been addressed.”
The Rule of Law Report consists of a section for each Member State and will now be reviewed jointly by the Council of Ministers.
At the same time, Vera Jourova is especially concerned about attacks on journalists and the media. In recent months, two EU journalists have been assassinated – one in Greece and the other in the Netherlands.
“This is unacceptable. The report calls for decisive action to improve media freedom,” says Jourova in his press release.