We invariably insisted on a common European rule-of-law mechanism

Ilhan Kyuchyuk: The CVM is currently used only for the purposes of political speaking

Photo: EP Ilhan Kyuchyuk.

The EP Committee on Legal Affairs adopted on Thursday its opinion on the report on the establishment of the EU Mechanism for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, led by the EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

The text recalls that the EU does not yet have a legally binding mechanism for regular monitoring for observing fundamental values ​​by the Member States and the EU institutions. It underscores that the key objective of a future interinstitutional agreement on the EU Pact for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights should be preventive and corrective measures to prevent and tackle violations of and non-compliance with EU values.

MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk, rapporteur for the Renew Europe group on the opinion, highlighted that the focus of the Committee on Legal Affairs was the efficiency and independence of the judiciary, the uniform application of Union law and the strengthening of a common European legal culture as a cornerstone of mutual trust and the rule of law principals.

He specified that this opinion encompass the specific recommendations of the Committee on Legal Affairs on the report on the establishment of an EU Mechanism for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, which after a plenary vote, will define the Parliament's position for this mandate. In the coming weeks, the European Commission will present the first annual rule of law report, which will cover all Member States and will deepen the dialogue and general awareness of the rule of law in the EU, he also said.

"Back in 2016, the EP overwhelmingly backed the report of our Liberal colleague Sophie in't Veld, which urged for a binding mechanism with clear and objective benchmarks for monitoring of developments in all Member States, in the form of an interinstitutional agreement on the EU Pact for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. This firm position is also at the forefront of the new report by my colleague Michal Šimečka, also from Renew Europe, and the recommendations we agreed on today are concerning his report.

One of the distinguishing points between the position of the Commission and the Parliament is the insistence that monitoring concerning Member States, cover democracy and respect for fundamental rights, in addition to the rule of law."

In this context, as rapporteur for the Committee on Legal Affairs, I proposed that the European Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, should step up its work looking on the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and create, under the new mechanism, monitoring and dialogue with Member States, in order to ensure that national legislative and judicial measures and practices comply with the provisions of the Charter, Ilhan Kyuchyuk said.

The understanding of most colleagues is that the new report should consolidate and revoke existing instruments. It should replace, for instance, the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania, which due to the lack of clear indicators and binding follow-up measures, is currently used only for the purposes of political speaking, the Bulgarian MEP pointed out..

Working on a comprehensive EU Mechanism for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights is among the main priorities of the Renew Europe group in the EP. We believe that it should be enshrined in a legal act involving Parliament, the Council and the Commission in a regulated process with clearly defined responsibilities, objective and fair criteria and concrete compulsory measures. It includes budgetary conditionality in cases of serious violations of our common principles, Kyuchyuk urged noting that this invariable position has always been supported by the delegation of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. 

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