EU Parliament: create a binding EU mechanism to defend rights and democracy all over Europe

(Strasburg) – “We gave the European Union the instruments to have all other policies (competition, police and judicial, foreign policies) applied, but the instruments for our fundamental values are too weak to have them respected throughout the EU”: said MEP Sophie in’t Veld during the debate before the voting of the draft law she was the speaker of, approved in Strasburg today. Through that initiative, the Parliament asked the Commission to create a binding EU mechanism “to monitor and yearly report violations of democratic principles, the state of the law, and the fundamental rights of Member States”. That mechanism “should include some objective audit parameters, setting a gradual approach to remedy violations”. The resolution passed with 405 yes, 171 against, and 39 abstentions. The new EU mechanism “should make sure that all the countries will respect the values ratified through treaties, and that their appraisal criteria of democracy, state of the law and fundamental rights are based on objective controls, not subject to external political influences”. At the Parliament, they mentioned cases in Poland, Hungary, and, with a view to a future admission, Turkey and the Balkans. The European assembly asked the Commission to submit a proposal by September 2017.