As part of its continued efforts to strengthen the rule of law in Europe, the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council will host the first annual high-level conference on the rule of law in Coimbra on 17th and 18th May 2021. In parallel, the European Commission (EC) is preparing its 2nd annual report on the state of rule of law in the EU Member States. A public consultation on the 2nd report closed in March. The final report is due to be published in July.

On 31st March, the EC referred Poland to the European Court of Justice requesting interim measures. The case concerns a Polish law adopted in 2020 which, the EC alleges, undermines the independence of Polish judges. The referral follows recent calls for the EC to act from the European Parliament (EP) and from the Polish Judiciary and EU academia in an open letter to the EC.

During its March plenary, the EP threatened legal action against the Commission if it failed to implement the new EU Regulation (adopted in January 2021) on the rule of law conditionality mechanism to protect the EU budget.

For more information about EJSF, please contact the secretariat here.