EU Parliament Backs Introduction of Monitoring Mechanism on All Member States
The European Commission has to present a new mechanism for monitoring democracy and the rule of law in all member-states, decided the European Parliament on Tuesday.
European deputies approved with a huge majority the report on the introduction of such a mechanism. In theory, their non-binding means that the current monitoring mechanism, which is applied to Bulgaria and Romania only, may be abolished.
The new monitoring system will have objective criteria and will be applied to all member-states. They will be monitored with respect to democracy, corruption, media freedom, the judicial system and fundamental human rights.
"The EU Commission should set up a binding EU mechanism to monitor and report annually on their records in these field," the Parliament has said in a statement, citing a resolution adopted by MEPs on Tuesday.
The initiative was passed by a majority of 405 to 171, with 39 abstentions. The mechanism should "ensure that all EU member states respect the values enshrined in the EU treaties and set clear, evidence-based and non-political criteria for assessing their records on so-called democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF) in a systematic way an on an equal footing."
The idea is to bring DRF tools into a single instrument and to make up for the "lack of effective tools vis-?-vis those that are already EU member states."
The so-called "European DRF report" should be drawn up on an annual basis by the Commission, in consultation with an independent panel of experts.
The EU Commission is now to present a proposal by September 2017.
The Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), launched in Bulgaria and Romania as a prerequisite for their accession into the EU in 2007, is not explicitly mentioned throughout the statement.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has repeatedly suggested Brussels would seek to have the monitoring on both countries revoked during the term of the current college, but has also indicated that Romania may be freed of it earlier than Bulgaria.
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