Strengthening the rule of law in the Union

Strengthening the rule of law in the Union is, and must remain, a key objective for all. Therefore, in a Communication published on 17 July 2019, the Commission has set out concrete actions to strengthen the Union’s capacity to promote and uphold the rule of law, through promotion of a common rule of law culture, prevention of rule of law problems and an effective response. In particular, the Commission has established a Rule of Law Review Cycle and called on the EU institutions for a coordinated approach.


Stakeholder contributions

On 3 April 2019, the Commission published a Communication on “Further Strengthening the Rule of Law within the Union”, which set out the three pillars for future action – promotion, prevention and response – and invited all stakeholders to contribute to a reflection on the next steps.

In response to the Communication, the Commission received over 60 contributions from a broad diversity of contributors, including Member States, EU institutions and bodies, international organisations and political actors, the judiciary and judicial networks, civil society organisations, academia and business associations.

Overwhelmingly, these contributions acknowledged the importance of strengthening the rule of law for the future of democracy in Europe and the need to reinforce action at all stages – promotion, prevention and response. An overview of the suggestions made in the contributions can be found in the summary report. Where agreed by the contributors, individual contributions are also available.

Read the summary here

Read the list of contributors here

Read the contributions here


Eurobarometer survey

In April 2019 the Commission undertook a Eurobarometer survey in all Member States, which was published together with the Communication on 17 July 2019. The results show overwhelming support for the rule of law, with limited differences between Member States. The importance of the key principles of the rule of law was recognised by over 80% of citizens in all Member States. The Eurobarometer also underlined that Europeans consider it important that the rule of law applies throughout the EU, with 89% supporting the need for the rule of law to be respected in all other EU Member States. It has further revealed that over half of Europeans do not feel sufficiently informed about the EU’s fundamental values. The full report can be read here.


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