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Protecting our fundamental values: Mechanism on Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights
The EU is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Adhering to these principles allows for peaceful coexistence in Europe and prevents us from repeating the mistakes of the past. However, some political actors are trying to compromise this effort by seizing more power than they are legally allowed, violating the rights of groups or individuals, limiting the media freedom and undermining the judiciary's independence.
The EU has not been able to respond adequately to this systematic erosion of its fundamental values. The existing measures are slow (the infringement procedure for EU law violation) or ineffective due to unanimous decision-making by the member states (Council voting rights suspension - ‘Art. 7’ procedure). This allows undemocratic forces to continue their business-as-usual, while gradually limiting the fundamental rights of Europeans.
A Review Mechanism on Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights (DRF) should be introduced, including:
- an annual evidence-based scoreboard on the state of DRF in all member states developed by an independent expert panel;
- country-specific recommendations adopted by the European Commission based on the scoreboard;
- preventive and corrective measures adopted by the European Parliament and the Council by qualified majority, to be put in place within 6 months after the adoption of the recommendations if the latter are not respected.
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