About: Article 7

A warning to the guardians

The European Commission, as the guardian of the Treaties, is responsible for ensuring that member states duly implement EU law. If a country fails to comply, the Commission may launch a lengthy infringement procedure. András Kristóf Kádár takes a look at how this has been applied to Hungary.

A new view on Rule of Law and Democracy can bridge EU’s East-West divide

Taking a comprehensive approach to democracy that encompasses all aspects of democracy, rule of law and human rights would bridge the growing east-west divide, argues Sam van der Staak.

Commission hopes to create ‘rule of law culture’ with first EU-wide assessment

The European Commission said on Wednesday (30 January) that the Union-wide assessment of the rule of law will complete its toolbox with a "preventive" mechanism to guard against backsliding in countries across the bloc.
Elections 28-09-2020

Poland’s ruling nationalists cement new coalition deal

Poland's ruling nationalists signed a new coalition agreement on Saturday (26 September), ending weeks of in-fighting in the three-party alliance over how it will govern over the next three years.

Report: EU governments disproportionately restricted rights during pandemic

More than half of EU countries failed to safeguard people’s right to peaceful assembly during the pandemic, peaceful protests were violently disrupted by police, and tight restrictions on fundamental rights remained in place even after social distancing measures were scaled back for businesses, a new report by civil rights watchdogs found.
Global Europe 23-09-2020

EU must openly discuss Turkey sanctions, says Austria’s EU minister

At the next European summit, Austria wants to speak openly about sanctions against Ankara, including the possibility to break off accession talks with Turkey, the country's EU Minister Karoline Edtstadler told EURACTIV Germany.
Elections 22-09-2020

Polish government coalition hanging by a thread

Poland's ruling right-wing coalition looked to be hanging by a thread on Monday (21 September), as a government spokesman said he could imagine the largest party in the grouping, Law and Justice (PiS), governing without one of its current partners.
Languages & Culture 03-09-2020

Major political groups harbour corruption – Greens’ Freund

The major European political groups tolerate corruption and malfeasance among the member parties, says Green MEP Daniel Freund, who also analyses the weaknesses of instruments to fight the misuse of EU funds.
Non-discrimination 05-08-2020

Polish official: Istanbul Convention could impose ‘leftist ideology’

Poland's conservative nationalist government cranked up its campaign against Europe's accord on violence against women, calling it a tool for the EU to foist "leftist ideology" on unwilling member states.
Politics 17-06-2020

Scepticism remains as Hungary prepares to phase out special powers act

The Hungarian Parliament passed legislation on Tuesday (16 June) that rescinds the controversial powers granted to Viktor Orbán's government at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and approved "transitional arrangements" to phase it out.
Digital 21-04-2020

Bulgaria ‘black sheep of the EU’: World Press Freedom Index

Bulgaria has the lowest standards of press freedom in Europe and is ranked 111th globally in terms of press freedom for a third consecutive year in the Reporters Without Borders annual edition of the World Press Freedom index, which called the country "the black sheep of the EU".

EU-wide rule of law mechanism discussed in Sofia

A conference in Sofia debated the European Commission's proposal for an EU-wide rule of law mechanism on Friday (6 March) and one European lawmaker said there is already a clear majority in the European Parliament to set up a new control mechanism for the rule of law.
Politics 03-02-2020

EU should stop ‘subsidising undermining democracy,’ warns NGO boss

The EU should "stop subsidizing undermining democracy within the EU," Kenneth Roth,  Executive Director of Human Rights Watch told EURACTIV in an interview, arguing that the negotiations over the next 7-year budget will not just be about money but about fundamental rights.

Row heats up over Poland’s court reforms

A long-running controversy in Poland over the government's judicial reforms intensified Wednesday (29 January) when its two top bodies -- the Constitutional and Supreme courts -- clashed over the appointment of judges.

Poland accuses Brussels of double standards in judiciary row

Poland accused the European Union on Saturday (25 January) of double standards for questioning the country's Constitutional Tribunal, intensifying a spat between Warsaw and Brussels ahead of a visit by the bloc's top rule of law official.

Polish parliament approves judge ‘muzzle law’, Commission ‘very concerned’

Poland's parliament on Thursday (23 January) approved a controversial draft law aimed at disciplining judges who question government judicial reforms that the European Union says are out of step with the rule of law.

Top Hungarian lawyer accuses PM Orban of harming rule of law

Hungary's top defence lawyer accused Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Tuesday (21 January) of undermining the rule of law through his refusal to accept two court decisions that require payouts of state funds.
Enlargement 21-01-2020

Czech FM: Visegrad countries will continue to promote EU enlargement

The Visegrad countries will need some time to close the ditches they have dug in recent years, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told EURACTIV.cz in an interview. He also voiced doubts about the need for a reform of EU membership negotiations, demanded by France, saying the process is already reversible at any stage.

European Parliament calls on member states to act on Poland and Hungary

The EU must set out concrete demands and deadlines for Poland and Hungary over their rule of law and judicial independence situation, lawmakers in the European Parliament demanded in a Strasbourg debate on Article 7 on Wednesday (15 January). In...

NGOs hail opinion urging EU court to annul Hungary’s restrictions on foreign financing

Human rights watchdogs hailed on Tuesday (14 January) an opinion from the advocate general of the EU's top court which said restrictions imposed by Hungary on the financing of civil organisations from abroad breach EU law.

EU judges join Polish colleagues to protest ‘muzzle law’

Hundreds of Polish judges dressed in formal black robes marched in Warsaw on Saturday  (11 January) to protest a draft law aimed at punishing justices who question the government's controversial court reforms.

Poles protest bill aimed at punishing judges

Thousands of people took to the streets across Poland Wednesday (18 December) to protest government proposals aimed at punishing judges critical of controversial judicial reforms.

EU to check whether Polish bill on judges undermines court independence

The European Commission said on Monday (16 December) it would closely examine whether a new Polish draft law undermines the independence of the judiciary, amid tensions between Brussels and Warsaw over democratic standards.

‘Soros orchestra’: The next chapter in Hungary’s Article 7 odyssey

The General Affairs Council held a thematic hearing on Tuesday (10 December) on the ongoing Article 7 procedure against Hungary, tackling the alleged breaches of judicial independence, academic freedom and freedom of expression, particularly media freedom.
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