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EU Rule of Law Report

The EU Annual Rule of Law Report is a major initiative of the European Commission’s work programme for 2020 and is part of the European Rule of Law Mechanism which sets an annual dialogue between EU institutions, EU countries, national parliaments and other stakeholders on the rule of law.

The Rule of Law Report sets a positive direction towards a more effective way to address this cross-topic issue across the entire E, including corruption. The aim of the Rule of Law Report is to look at key developments in the area of the rule of law across the EU. The report covers four areas:

  • justice systems, in particular their independence, quality and efficiency
  • the anti-corruption framework
  • media pluralism
  • other institutional issues related to checks and balances

The assessment includes both reform progress and remaining challenges, providing country-specific assessments of all 27 EU countries.

The first annual Rule of Law report was published the 30 September 2020. A second report has been adopted on 20 July 2021. The reports contain a clear assessment, which will allow the Commission to continue and deepen its monitoring in future editions. A third report was published on 13 July 2022, it includes, for the first time, specific recommendations to EU countries.

Corruption in the Rule of Law Report

As regards the anti-corruption framework, the report examines the strategic approach to corruption, as well as the legislative and operational frameworks, in order to enable a preventive dialogue with national authorities and interested stakeholders at EU and national level.

The report assesses a wide variety of corruption-risks and measures in place to prevent and repress corruption:

  • effectiveness of anti-corruption strategies and evidence-based policies
  • capacity of institutions and their effectiveness in investigating and prosecuting corruption
  • existing resources, specialisation and enforcement of sanctions.
  • integrity rules including codes of ethics, conflicts of interest, and interest and asset declaration
  • lobbying and ‘revolving doors’
  • political party financing
  • measures to protect whistle-blowers
  • COVID-19 pandemic related measures impacting anti-corruption (incl. public procurement)