EP: Time Is Ripe for a Comprehensive DRF Mechanism
In a resolution of 14 November 2018, the EP called on the Commission to present a proposal for a comprehensive EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights (in short: “DRF”). Several EU Member States were not maintaining the core EU values of respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law. Since this, inter alia, threatens the rebuttable presumption of mutual trust in the area of freedom, security and justice, the EP stressed that the existing EU responses to these deficiencies are insufficient.
The EP reiterated its call for a comprehensive, permanent, and objective EU DRF mechanism as already put forward in a EP resolution of October 2016 (see eucrim 4/2016, p. 154). The EP underlined that such a mechanism is more urgently needed now than ever before and regrets that neither the Commission nor the Council have taken up its proposal from 2016.
The resolution of 14 November 2018 reiterates the main elements of envisaged mechanism and calls for incorporation of existing instruments, such as the Justice Scoreboard (see eucrim 2/2018, pp. 80-81), the Media Pluralism Monitor, the Anti-Corruption Report, and peer evaluation procedures based on Art. 70 TFEU.
The EP further wishes to include the proposed link between protection of the Union budget and generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law (see eucrim 1/2018, pp. 12-13). The Council is called on “to properly assume its institutional role in the ongoing procedures in the framework of Article 7(1) TEU.”