Liberties Rule of Law Report 2022: EU Governments Vandalising or Neglecting Their Democracies

Most EU governments are neglecting their democracies, according to the new Liberties Rule of Law Report 2022.

On 15 February, the Civil Liberties Union for Europe, Liberties, published their third annual review of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in the EU. The report, an independent piece of analysis built on information contributed by 32 rights groups across the EU, among them Civil Rights Defenders, responds to the Commission’s request for information as it prepares its next annual audit of the rule of law.

Liberties Rule of Law Report 2022 finds three broad trends among EU countries.

1.Deepening authoritarianism

As reported last year, three countries have governments that are pursuing a calculated strategy to build an authoritarian state. During 2021, the governments of Hungary and Poland forged ahead with further steps to dismantle their democracies while Slovenia continued to follow them down the same path.

2. Neglected democracy

A second trend among EU countries is democratic neglect. The report from last year revealed a string of problems with justice systems, the state of the media, the environment for activism, corruption and systemic human rights problems that affected EU countries across the board. For the most part, governments have allowed these problems to fester or even worsen. 

3. Improvements are the exception

A third trend is that where improvements have been made, these tend to happen only in a minority of countries and are sometimes unambitious.

Liberties´ recommendations to the EU

In its forthcoming report, the Commission is expected to include, for the first time, recommendations for each country on how to resolve the problems it identifies. Liberties welcome this development, which was one of the previous recommendations to the Commission. This year’s report points out other ways that the Commission could make sure its annual report has a more tangible impact.

About the report

This is Liberties’ third annual report on the state of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights across the EU. The report covers 17 EU countries and is the most in-depth analysis of its kind produced by an NGO network. The report was prepared by Liberties together with 32 organisations from around Europe, with Civil Rights Defenders being one of them.

As in previous years, the publication serves two purposes: a source of information to the European Commission for its annual audit on the rule of law in the EU, and a source of independent analysis for journalists, researchers and others interested in the state of democracy in the EU.

Download Liberties Rule of Law Report 2022

Read Liberties´ press release about the 2022 Report here.

Tags , ,