12 May 2020

ENNHRI contributes to EU’s first annual rule of law report

ENNHRI has made a submission to the European Commission’s first annual rule of law monitoring cycle, addressing the context in all EU Member States. The report is an important step in the collective engagement of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in European rule of law processes, helping to drive progress on human rights and the rule of law in the region.

The rule of law and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing principles: a strong regime of rule of law is vital to the protection of human rights, and the rule of law can only be fully realised in an environment that protects human rights. Given this, NHRIs, as independent, state-mandated bodies with a broad human rights mandate, are key players in advancing the rule of law in their jurisdictions.

This report, made at the invitation of the European Commission, brought together reporting on this area from NHRIs in all EU countries. It reflects each institution’s perspectives on the state of the rule of law in their country, based on their human rights monitoring and reporting functions.

The report also gives an overview of trends and challenges, including on: independence and effectiveness of NHRIs, restrictions on civil society space, pressure on democratic checks and balances, justice systems, media pluralism, corruption, and responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The findings highlight the importance of a regular and comprehensive monitoring of the rule of law environment and of prioritising the establishment and support of fully-independent and effective NHRIs.

By engaging in European rule of law monitoring mechanisms, NHRIs can help policy makers reach a more comprehensive and informed assessment of the situation in each country. This, in turn, can lead to stronger impacts of follow up action to drive progress in the national and European rule of law and human rights environment. NHRIs will continue to act on this at a national level and engage with relevant international mechanisms, including the EU institutions.

In June 2020, ENNHRI will publish a more comprehensive report covering all its members across wider Europe.

» Download the report

Learn more:

» High-level consultation meeting on NHRIs’ role in EU Rule of Law mechanisms

» Submission to the European Commission on NHRIs’ role in EU Rule of Law mechanisms

» Submission to 2020 European Commission Enlargement Package