In 2014, following threats to the rule of law in several Member States, the European Commission decided to launch a framework to address such systemic threats through dialogue with the concerned countries. Until now the process consists of an assessment of the problems, followed by concrete recommendations and a monitoring mechanism.
Building on the existing framework, the European Commission has set out to strengthening the capacity of the EU to ensure effective and equal protection of the rule of law in all Member States. It is expected that a panel of experts would assess the rule of law situation in each Member State and make a public summary of the findings. The strengthened requirement for rule of law compliance raise the risk of concerned countries being stripped of EU funding through suspension or reduction of payments.
Member States, and all countries that rely on EU funding, must pay close attention to how they are meeting their rule of law commitments and communicate this effectively to the European institutions.