Situation of Fundamental Rights in the EU in 2020 and 2021
On 15 September 2022, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2020 and 2021. MEPs assessed the state of fundamental values in the EU in 2020 – 2021, identified areas of concern and proposed ways to protect freedom, equality and the rule of law more effectively.
They are particularly concerned about how COVID-19 provisions may affect democracy and fundamental liberties. Regarding the continuous rule of law infractions in some member states, MEPs urged the Commission to use the budget conditionality mechanism of the EU to ensure that key EU values are better protected and that EU funds are distributed fairly and legally.
The MEPs further condemned Poland and Hungary for not complying with the judgements of the European Court of Justice, and asked for concrete action by the EU institutions. They also stressed the need to safeguard journalists from attempts to censor news through the use of the legal system (the so-called SLAPPs).
Another concern in the resolution is better protection of vulnerable groups. MEPs denounced gender-based violence and demand Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia, and the EU itself ratify the Istanbul Convention. Additionally, they spoke out against anti-feminist and anti-gender movements that actively work to undermine the rights of women and LGBTIQ+ people, particularly those forces that are emerging in Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, and Lithuania.
In order to better protect these vulnerable groups, the Parliament demanded the full implementation of the EU Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia and welcomed the Commission proposal to include hate crime/speech in the list of EU crimes (→ eucrim 4/2021, 221).
The Parliament also denounced the criminalization of activists and humanitarian workers, as well as border pushbacks and brutality against migrants.