Safeguarding the rule of law, democracy and EU values such as media freedom were among the priorities highlighted by Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen on 19th October in response to the recent decision of the Polish constitutional court challenging the supremacy of EU law. The President issued a strong statement condemning the decision and outlining the Commission’s possible response options. These include withholding EU funds to Poland under the new EU Rule of Law Conditionality Regulation. The Regulation has yet to be applied despite increasing pressure from the European Parliament to do so.

Further initiatives to strengthen the rule of law including a new law to protect women against violence will be presented before the end of this year. A Media Freedom Act will be launched next year. Meanwhile, the Commission has recently opened public consultations on a draft recommendation and initiative to protect journalists and human rights defenders in strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP).

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