2020 Rule of Law Report. The rule of law situation in the European Union

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2020) 580
Publication Date 30/09/2020
Content Type


First annual report on the rule of law situation across the European Union (EU), published by the European Commission on 30 September 2020.

Further information:

This report includes input from every Member State and covers both positive and negative developments across the EU. It shows that many Member States have high rule of law standards, but important challenges to the rule of law exist in the EU. It also reflects relevant developments stemming from the emergency measures taken by Member States due to the coronavirus crisis.

The report covers four main pillars with a strong bearing on the rule of law: national justice systems, anti-corruption frameworks, media pluralism and freedom, and other institutional issues related to the checks and balances essential to an effective system of democratic governance.

The aim of the new Rule of Law Report is to enlarge the existing EU toolbox with a new preventive tool and kick-start an inclusive debate and rule of law culture across the EU. It should help all Member States examine how challenges can be addressed, how they can learn from each other's experiences, and show how the rule of law can be further strengthened in full respect of national constitutional systems and traditions.

The European Parliament's reaction to this report was adopted by the plenary on 24 June 2021.

Source Link https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=COM:2020:580:FIN
Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
International Commission of Jurists: Press Release, 30/09/2020: European Union: rule of law report must be followed by action https://www.icj.org/european-union-rule-of-law-report-must-be-followed-by-action/
Euronews, 30/09/2020: The Rule of Law: what is it and why is it important? https://www.euronews.com/2020/09/30/the-rule-of-law-what-is-it-and-why-is-it-important
Balkan Insight: Analysis, 30/09/2020: Harsh Words on EU Rule of Law - But Will Action Follow? https://balkaninsight.com/2020/09/30/harsh-words-on-eu-rule-of-law-but-will-action-follow/
Democracy Reporting, 01/10/2020: Taking the pulse: The European Commission’s rule of law report https://democracy-reporting.org/dri_publications/taking-the-pulse-the-european-commissions-rule-of-law-report/
Verfassungsblog, 02/10/2020: Too Little, Too Late - The Commission’s New Annual Rule of Law Report and the Rule of Law Backsliding in Hungary and Poland https://verfassungsblog.de/too-little-too-late/
Euro|topics, October 2020: Is the EU’s rule-of-law criticism toothless? https://www.eurotopics.net/en/248658/
EUObserver: Opinion, 08/10/2020: The EU Commission rule-of-law report: wrong in so many ways https://euobserver.com/opinion/149676
Carnegie Europe: Article, 20/10/2020: Unresolved Questions on the EU Rule of Law Report https://carnegieeurope.eu/2020/10/20/unresolved-questions-on-eu-rule-of-law-report-pub-82999
European Law Blog, 22/10/2020: The European Commission’s Rule of Law Report: a key tile in the mosaic of rule of law protection in the EU https://europeanlawblog.eu/2020/10/22/the-european-commissions-rule-of-law-report-a-key-tile-in-the-mosaic-of-rule-of-law-protection-in-the-eu/
Warwick University: Expert Comment, 29/10/2020: First ever 'EU Rule of Law Report' https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/expertcomment/first_ever_eu
Dutch Government: Parliamentary Document, 08/12/2020: Dutch government assessment of the European Commission’s 2020 Rule of Law Report https://www.government.nl/documents/parliamentary-documents/2020/12/08/dutch-government-assessment-ec-2020-rule-of-law-report
Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE): Statement, 17/12/2020: CCBE statement on the 2020 Rule of Law Report https://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/ROL/EN_RoL_20201217_CCBE-statement-on-the-Rule-of-Law-Report-2020.pdf

RFE/RL, 30/09/2020: Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania Criticized In EU Rule-Of-Law Report https://www.rferl.org/a/hungary-bulgaria-romania-criticized-in-eu-rule-of-law-report/30866473.html
Associated Press, 30/09/2020: European report finds waning of democracy in Poland, Hungary https://apnews.com/article/e3bca7b1fcae74f071eb585cb03d0db5
Reuters, 30/09/2020: EU slams Poland, Hungary as cash-for-democracy fight heats up https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN26L1QZ
The Irish Times, 30/09/2020: EU criticises Hungary as tensions soar over €750bn recovery fund https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/eu-criticises-hungary-as-tensions-soar-over-750bn-recovery-fund-1.4368714
Deutsche Welle, 30/09/2020: EU slams Hungary and Poland over democratic standards https://p.dw.com/p/3jDpU
Hungary Today, 01/10/2020: EC Report on Rule of Law Stirs Tension Between Brussels and Hungary, Opposition Parties Blame Gov’t for Criticism https://hungarytoday.hu/ec-rule-of-law-report-hungary-reactions/

European Commission: Policies: Rule of Law https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/upholding-rule-law/rule-law_en
European Commission: 2020 Rule of Law reports https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/upholding-rule-law/rule-law/rule-law-mechanism/2020-rule-law-report_en
European Commission: Press Release, 30/09/2020: Rule of law: First Annual Report on the Rule of Law situation across the European Union https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1756
European Commission: 2020 Rule of Law report - Questions and Answers (30 September 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_1757
Finnish Government: Press Release, 01/10/2020: European Commission publishes first report on the rule of law https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/-/10616/european-commission-publishes-first-report-on-the-rule-of-law
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Initiative on the Commission’s 2020 Rule of law report (2021/2025(INI)) https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2021/2025(INI)
European Parliament: Press Release, 24/06/2021: Lessons learnt from the Commission’s 2020 rule of law report https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20210621IPR06636/

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