Strengthening the rule of law within the Union: A blueprint for action

CIVEX-VI/044
Adopted

Strengthening the rule of law within the Union: A blueprint for action

 Adoption: 12/02/2020
 Theme: Justice and Home Affairs
Commission: Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX-VI)
to support the European Commission's proposal to create an annual monitoring system covering all Member States, based on objective and transparent parameters for proper monitoring of the rule of law; to step up the involvement of the CoR, LRAs and civil society in promoting a culture of respect for the rule of law; to ensure that LRAs are not unfairly hit by the sanctions in the case of funding conditionality; to increase the funds currently allocated for civil society and independent media in the multiannual financial framework, with a part of this funding allocated to local independent media; to restart the process of the EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.
Local and regional authorities (LRAs) have an important role to play in strengthening the rule of law. LRA constitute a fundamental level of democratic legitimacy and should continuously promote a rule of law culture and monitor the compliance with the principles associated with it. LRAs can contribute to the knowledge-building activities proposed by the Commission and can also act as sources of information for the monitoring it intends to carry out. LRAs can contribute to the annual event for promoting the rule of law, proposed by the Commission, by hosting a series of meetings on the rule of law, at regional and national level, in advance of and in preparation for the annual event. The opinion suggests that the Commission could nominate a "rule of law city" every year, and that the annual event would be held there.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS - welcomes the Commission's proposal, which recognises and attaches great importance to the rule of law as a precondition for the European integration process and as a fundamental value of the EU, enshrined in the Treaties and common to the constitutional traditions of the Member States; - supports the European Commission's proposal to create an annual monitoring system covering all Member States, highlighting the importance of objective and transparent parameters for proper monitoring. The CoR considers that these parameters should be based on the case law of the Court of Justice, the EU Justice Scoreboard models, the Venice Commission's Rule of Law Checklist and, more generally, on the experience gained by the bodies of the Council of Europe; - urges the Commission to step up the involvement of the CoR, LRAs and civil society in promoting a culture of respect for the rule of law. LRAs can contribute to the annual event for promoting the rule of law, proposed by the Commission, by hosting a series of meetings on the rule of law, at regional and national level, in advance of and in preparation for the annual event; suggests that the Commission could nominate a "rule of law city" every year, and that the annual event would be held there; - stresses the fact that funding conditionality should be seen as a solution only in cases of serious and systemic breaches and calls again on the Commission for measures to ensure that LRAs are not unfairly hit by the sanctions; - considers that the funds currently allocated for civil society and independent media in the multiannual financial framework should be significantly increased, with part of this funding allocated to local independent media; - welcomes the Commission's intention to restart the process of the EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.
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