Rule of law: Why is it key to our democracies?
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The European Union is based on a set of shared values. Some of these values seem straightforward, such as freedom of speech. Some of them are a little more abstract, such as ‘rule of law’. Broadly speaking, rule of law is a governance principle that requires all persons, private entities and public institutions such as governments to act in accordance with the law. These laws must be enacted publicly, must be consistent with human rights and democratic values, and must be beholden to the scrutiny of independent and impartial courts.
Globally, the EU is recognised as having a very high rule of law standard. The new EU budget includes a rule of law clause to make sure that its Member States meet this standard. This ‘rule of law conditionality’ will make it possible to suspend payments from the EU budget to Member States that do not respect the rule of law.
- How does the rule of law influence your life as an EU citizen?
- How can young people help ensure that the rule of law is respected?
- What do you think are the main challenges of implementing this kind of conditionality?
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