by Keith Zahra
The European Commission has published the second EU-wide Report on the Rule of Law. The 2021 report looks at the new developments since last September, deepening the assessment of issues identified in the previous report and considering the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite notable improvements, concerns remain and in certain Member States these have increased, for instance when it comes to the independence of the judiciary and the situation in the media. The report also underlines the strong resilience of national systems during the Covid-19 pandemic. This pandemic also illustrated the importance of the ability to maintain a system of checks and balances, upholding the rule of law.
The report has flagged concerns about Poland and Hungary, with the European Commission having already indicated that it could link access to its recovery fund of grants and loans worth a total €800 billion conditional on observing the rule of law.
With regard to Malta, the EC highlighted improvements in ensuring judicial independence, while noting the need for additional efforts to ensure further media freedom.
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