In recent years, there is growing acknowledgment that the fundamental values and principles of the European Union, including the Rule of Law, are under pressure and need particular attention. It has become clear that more needs to be done to ensure that the Rule of Law is strengthened and upheld throughout the Union.
There are several instruments in the EU’s toolbox for protecting the Rule of Law. As further underlined in the Commission’s 2021 Rule of Law Report, an annual assessment of both positive and negative significant developments concerning the Rule of Law in EU Member States, the Commission intends to continue with this initiative as a preventive tool which stimulates needed debate among Member States and other actors.
This Policy Dialogue brings together a group of distinguished academics and policymakers, including Vera Jourová, Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, to address four themes that are particularly relevant in view of this exercise. The first refers to the evaluation of judicial independence, since judges, magistrates and judicial operators are an essential pillar to secure balance between state powers. Secondly, the role of national independent authorities and bodies, which serve the objective of keeping the functioning of state power and authorities within the boundaries of the Rule of Law, will be explored. Thirdly, media pluralism and its role in securing an environment of transparency in which Rule of Law can prosper will be discussed. Finally, the Policy Dialogue will also take stock of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the state of the Rule of Law in EU member states.
Participation in this Policy Dialogue is by invitation only and all discussions will take place under the Chatham House Rule.