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SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 25 (SeeNews) – The legislative initiative for an EU-wide instrument, European DRF Report, which will replace the existing monitoring tools such as the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for Bulgaria and Romania, was adopted by the European Parliament (EP) on Tuesday.
“We have provided the European Union with the instruments to enforce all the other policy areas - competition policies, police and justice cooperation, foreign policies (...), but our core values are not protected by instruments that are sufficiently strong to make sure that the values are upheld throughout the European Union”, lead MEP Sophie in’t Veld said in the debate ahead of the vote, according to a press release issued by the EP.
According to the proposal, every year, the European Commission, in consultation with an independent panel of experts, would draw up a “European Democracy, Rule of law and Rundamental rights (DRF) Report” on the state of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in all member states, including country-specific recommendations based on indicators such as the separation of powers, freedom and pluralism of the media and access to justice.
The legislative initiative was passed by 405 votes to 171, with 39 abstentions. It got the support of the two biggest political groups in the EP – the European People’s Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.
The EP has now asked the Commission to present a proposal for the establishment of the instrument by September 2017. The Commission will have to give a reasoned reply to Parliament’s request.