EM Germany Newsletter CW 42|2020: Rule of law reports
The EU and its Member States have a credibility problem. On the one hand, they require candidate countries for EU membershipas well as their partner countries in development cooperation to be democratic and governed by the rule of law. But once a country has joined the EU, the Union can only stand by and watch fundamental democratic values being violated.
An EU that is committed to its founding principles and opposes the rise of authoritarian tendencies in Europe can no longer be an observer. The EU Commission’s reports on the rule of law, which will be discussed tomorrow in the General Affairs Council, are reason enough to be concerned. The dialogue initiated by the reports is certainly a good one, as it identifies gaps transparently in the member states – including Germany. But when, as in Poland and Hungary, the independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press, and pluralist democracy are being shaken up, the EU’s room for manoeuvre must not be limited to words alone.
We need an effective linkage between the EU budget resources and the principles of the rule of law, which extends beyond the fight against corruption and grants only the Council as a whole a right to veto. Otherwise, the EU runs the risk of creating another blunt sanctioning instrument alongside the Art. 7 TEU procedure.
Have a nice week – and stay safe!
Dr. Linn Selle
President, European Movement Germany
#EBDFokus: Rule of law reports
On the 30th of September, the European Commission presented for the first time Rule of Law Reports for all EU member states. Especially the rule of law violations in Poland and Hungary, which have become more and more obvious over the last few years, stand out in these reports. +++ The chapter on the rule of law situation in Germany mentions the potential for improvement in the efficiency and quality of the judicial system as well as the lack of mandatory contact registration for members of the Bundestag and the federal government. +++ With the publication of the report, the debate on the state of the rule of law has only just begun. The General Affairs Council will discuss the reports for the first time on October 13th, before addressing country-specific aspects of the Rule of Law Report on November 10th. +++ With the Councils position on linking the future EU budget to the rule of law principles the German EU Presidency has already achieved a minor success. But with the planned emergency brake comes a danger that this will only be a weak instrument for enforcing European values, EM President Linn Selle recently commented on Twitter. +++ Room for financial sanctions against rule of law violations in the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework is part of the EMs policy and anchored in the political demand „Respect European values and fundamental rights!“ +++ Background information on the planned linking of EU budget funds to rule of law principles is provided by the new podcast from the Jacques Delors Centre, which was launched in early October. +++ The question of how democracy and the rule of law should be defended in the EU is the topic of an event organized by Bündnis 90/Die Grünen today, Monday, which can be followed via live stream. +++ All the opinions from the network on the rule of law are compiled on the EM website. +++
#EBDGrafik of the week
EM Germany news
External Relations, Internal Market and Corona Crisis in Focus: EM Germany De-briefing on the results of the special meeting of the European Council | More (in German) +++ Leading Europe out of the crisis in a future-oriented & more resilient way: EM Germany ECOFIN and Eurogroup De-Briefing | More (in German)
Berlin meets Europe: At the panel discussion „Berlin and the German Presidency of the EU Council“ Linn Selle and Berlin State Secretary for Europe Gerry Woop exchanged their perspectives on current European policy challenges. | More (in German)
Anchoring Europe in the national discourse: EM Germany at a seminar of the European Academy Berlin | More (in German)
Joint statement of the presidends of EM Germany and EM Austria: European solutions instead of national solo efforts also for corona-related travel warnings, demand EM Germany president Dr Linn Selle and the President of EM Austria Dr Christoph Leitl in a joint statement. | More (in German)
„Strong women for a united Europe“: In order to put female volunteer work for Europe in the spotlight, EM Germany has been awarding the „Preis Frauen Europas“ (Women of Europe Prize) annually since 1991. This has now been presented in an article by Diplomatic World. | More (in German)
All EM Germany events take place via videoconference. Participation is free, but registration required. Conference language is German unless indicated otherwise. +++ 06.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing European Council +++ 07.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing ECOFIN and Euro Group +++ 12.10.2020: EBD Exklusiv: TransparenzEU (in English) +++ 12.10.2020 EBD Briefing: Kommission direkt with Margrethe Vestager (in English) +++ 13.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing Justice and Home Affairs +++ 14.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing EPSCO +++ 19.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing European Council (with simultaneous interpretation into English and Italian) +++ 22.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing AGRIFISH +++ 26.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing ENVI +++ 30.10.2020: Federal Assembly of EM Germany +++ Our Presidency Calendar on the German EU Council Presidency is online – in the traditional six-month format (scroll to page 2), but also for September 2020. We’re continuously updating this new monthly format with events as they evolve – the A4 size allows for easy printing at your office (wherever it’s situated). The October edition of the calendar is now available.
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