Today, the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of the Establishment of an EU Mechanism on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights (DRF). The Parliament vote reaffirms the commitment of MEPs to establish a comprehensive approach to the rule of law instead of inefficient instruments split across different fields. The DRF would see an annual inter-institutional process, the coverage of all Member States, all Union values included under the scope (including democracy and fundamental rights) and the replacement of existing tools as well as additional ones, such as conditionality.
Sergey Lagodinsky MEP, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the Establishment of an EU Mechanism on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, comments:
“While the Commission's rule of law report of last week is welcome, it's nothing more than a list with no specific proposals for action, reading like a think tank report. Today's vote in the Parliament is calling for the Commission and Council to get operational and more effective.”
“We are calling for a consolidation of the existing tools in one rule of law mechanism with a strong role for the Parliament. It must be accompanied by a much-needed budgetary conditionality based on reverse qualified majority voting. This will allow the EU to limit funding of those Member States who disregard the core democratic values of the Union.”
“With the new mechanism proposal, the Parliament reasserts its role in the fight for liberal democracy. For us, it is crucial to include independent experts into the monitoring process as well as having all three institutions cooperate. Only if we do both, we will secure a credible, yet politically ambitious process. All of that would be insufficient if we fail to ensure the basics: The assessment can only be effective if it includes state of play on fundamental rights and anti-discrimination.”