The European Commission publishes its annual Rule of Law Report


On 6 July 2023, representatives of the Centre participated in a discussion organized by the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia to present the 2023 Rule of Law Report, which the European Commission publishes annually in July.

The report contains 27 chapters dedicated to individual EU countries. It focuses on four areas of the rule of law, namely the justice system, anti-corruption framework, media freedom and pluralism, and institutional checks and balances. All Member States participated in the process of preparation of the report. Between February and March 2023, the European Commission organized more than 530 online meetings with national authorities, independent authorities, and stakeholders, including civil society organizations. An online meeting with representatives of the Centre took place on 28 March 2023.

Seven recommendations were issued to Slovakia. Majority of the recommendations follow-up on the recommendations issued previous year. In the area of justice, the recommendations aim to ensure sufficient guarantees of the independence of members of the Council for the Judiciary and to ensure sufficient safeguards for cases where judges must face criminal liability for the crime of ‘bending the law’. The anti-corruption framework calls for legal regulation of lobbying, strengthened legislation on conflicts of interest and asset declarations, as well as improved coordination and between law enforcement agencies, while ensuring the objectivity of prosecutorial decisions. Concerning freedom and pluralism of media, it is recommended to continue the process of establishing legislative and other safeguards to improve the physical safety and working environment of journalists, including the reform of the Defamation Law, and to strengthen the rules and mechanisms supporting the independent management and editorial independence of public service media. Relating to institutional checks and balances it is required that public consultation be ensured in the law-making process.

The report also reflects the state of implementation of six recommendations addressed to Slovakia in the 2022 Rule of Law Report. According to the European Commission, these recommendations were met only by 25%. The Centre followed-up on these recommendations and analyzed selected fundamental rights aspects of the rule of law in Rule of Law Report, submitted on behalf of European national human rights institutions by ENNHRI network. As part of the project (information on our page; information on the FRA page) Supporting National Human Rights Institutions in Monitoring Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Aspects of the Rule of Law, which aims to strengthen the capacity of national human rights institutions to participate in the processes of implementing the rule of law within EU mechanisms, this report will soon be translated into Slovak and published. The Centre is also preparing to organize a Rule of Law Festival and publish several publications on fundamental rights aspects of the rule of law and application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights