We network against corruption

2021 Rule of law report

2021 Rule of Law Report: Second annual report on the state of the rule of law in the European Union

On 20 July 2021, the European Commission published its second EU-wide Rule of Law Report, which monitors significant developments relating to the rule of law in all Member States. Just like last year, the report includes input from every EU Member State in the form of country chapters, each covering four main pillars:

  • national justice system,
  • anti-corruption frameworks,
  • media pluralism and freedom, and
  • institutional issues related to the checks and balances that are essential for an effective democratic system of government.

More generally, the rule of law is not only an important component of the democratic identity of the EU and its Member States, but also an essential precondition for the functioning of the EU and for the trust of citizens and businesses in public institutions. All Member States have their own legal systems and traditions, but the core of the rule of law is the same across the EU.

This year’s report consolidates the European Commission’s work started with the 2020 report, deepening the assessment and further developing on the impact and challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country chapters, which rely on a qualitative assessment carried out by the Commission, analyze new developments since the first report and the follow-up to the challenges and developments identified in the 2020 Report.

The 2021 Rule of Law Report is part of the annual cycle on the rule of law and has been prepared on a common and objective basis to promote the rule of law, prevent the emergence or exacerbation of problems and address them, with equal attention to all Member States. As explained in the introduction to the report, it aims, among other things, to strengthen the rule of law while fully respecting national traditions and specificities, to stimulate constructive debate and to encourage all Member States to examine specific and individual challenges and learn from each other’s experiences.

For more information on the 2021 Rule of Law Report, please visit the European Commission’s website:        

2021 Rule of law report | European Commission (europa.eu)