European Commission: Rule of law report must protect freedom of expression

European Commission: Rule of law report must protect freedom of expression - Civic Space

Photo courtesy of Thijs ter Haar on flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

In July 2023, the European Commission will publish its annual rule of law report. The significant challenges to the rule of law within the Union throughout the last year are both old and new. While issues such as the non-implementation of court decisions, shrinking civic space and the restriction of freedom of expression across the European Union have featured in previous joint civil society statements, new coverage in country chapters and the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape have generated new concerns.

ARTICLE 19, together with our partners, issued joint recommendations to the European Commission, pointing out the key concerns that need to be urgently addressed in the preparation of the 2023 rule of law report.


Our main recommendations to the Commission are:

  1. Adopt a more comprehensive approach to the rule of law, democracy and human rights;
  2. Improve the visibility and awareness of the rule of law report;
  3. Increase the specificity and qualitative assessment of the recommendations;
  4. Act systematically against the non-implementation of court decisions;
  5. Protect freedom of expression and media freedom as the backbone of democracy and the rule of law;
  6. Enhance the inclusion of civil society in rule of law reporting;
  7. Address continuing concerns regarding civic space;
  8. Include the impacts of the war in Ukraine on the rule of law in the EU. 

Read the full joint submission