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Rule of law framework

In a crisis, the Commission can trigger the rule of law framework to address systemic threats in EU countries.

Background

In recent years, the European Commission has been confronted with crisis events in some EU countries, which revealed systemic threats to the rule of law. The Commission reacted by adopting the rule of law framework to address such threats in EU countries.

Objective

The objective of the rule of law framework is to prevent emerging threats to the rule of law to escalate to the point where the Commission has to trigger the mechanisms of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). This is done through dialogue with the EU country concerned.

Process

The framework establishes a three-stage process. They are:

  • Commission assessment

  • Commission recommendation

  • monitoring of the EU country’s follow-up to the Commission’s recommendation

If no solution is found within the rule of law framework, Article 7 of the TEU is the last resort to resolve a crisis and to ensure the EU country complies with EU values. Article 7 TEU provides for special mechanisms with far-reaching sanctions in case an EU country does not respect the fundamental values referred to in Article 2 TEU, including the rule of law.

Documents

12 FEBRUARI 2018
Commission Recommendation of 20 December 2017 regarding the rule of law in Poland complementary to Commission Recommendations (EU) 2016/1374, (EU) 2017/146 and (EU) 2017/1520
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(349.95 KB - HTML)
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12 FEBRUARI 2018
Proposal for a Council decision on the determination of a clear risk of a serious breach by the Republic of Poland of the rule of law, 20 December 2017
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(377.78 KB - HTML)
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25 JULI 2017
Commission Recommendation of 26 July 2017 regarding the rule of law in Poland complementary to Recommendations (EU) 2016/1374 and (EU) 2017/146
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(316.27 KB - HTML)
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12 FEBRUARI 2018
Commission Recommendation of 21 December 2016 regarding the rule of law in Poland complementary to Commission Recommendation (EU) 2016/1374
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(356.54 KB - HTML)
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26 JULI 2016
Commission Recommendation of 27 July 2016 regarding the rule of law in Poland, (EU) 2016/1374
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(336.98 KB - HTML)
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4 DECEMBER 2016
European Parliament resolution of 13 April 2016 on the situation in Poland (2015/3031 (RSP))
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(167.24 KB - PDF)
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12 DECEMBER 2015
European Parliament resolution of 16 December 2015 on the situation in Hungary (2015/2935 (RSP))
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(171 KB - PDF)
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5 DECEMBER 2015
European Parliament resolution of 10 June 2015 on the situation in Hungary (2015/2700 (RSP))
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(HTML)
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9 JULI 2015
European Parliament resolution of 7 September 2015 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2013-2014) (2014/2254 (INI))
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(HTML)
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11 MARS 2014
Communication from the Commission of 11 March 2014, A new EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law, COM(2014) 158 final
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(160.67 KB - HTML)
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11 MARS 2014
​Annexes to the Communication
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(190.84 KB - PDF)
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