The European Commission will be launching a mechanism that will monitor the state of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in every Member State by the end of the year.
The move announced by European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans on Wednesday comes after significant pressure from the European Parliament, to act after the recent assassinations of investigative journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta and Jan Kuciak in Slovakia.
Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola, who was one of the main lawmakers backing such a move described the mechanism as a “game-changer” and said the Europe-wide mechanism protecting democracy, the rule of law and the fundamental rights of all citizens in all member states is essential.
“This is a huge step forward and goes in the direction that we have been asking for. Having this mechanism will mean that every member state will be subjected to the same level of scrutiny.
“It is a game-changer in the way the EU protects people’s rights. It means that governments who think they have carte blanche to do as they please after winning an election will be in for a surprise. We are giving Europe the tools to act. It will remove the politics from the equation and create equality among States. It means that we will finally see concrete action and we will see it by the end of the year,” the MEP said.
Metsola added “we are awaiting the Commission’s proposal – that could take the form of an annual assessment with tailor made recommendations for every member state. It could combine a series of existing reports with individual considerations per country. We’re not interested in going after one country, we want to change the entire system.”