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Special Report 01/2022: EU support for the rule of law in the Western Balkans: despite efforts, fundamental problems persist

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10/01/2022

Rule of law is one of the common values of EU Member States and enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union. It is also an essential and necessary condition for EU membership. We audited whether EU support for the rule of law in the six Western Balkan countries aspiring for EU accession has been effective. We found that, while EU action has contributed to reforms in technical and operational areas, such as improving the efficiency of the judiciary and the development of relevant legislation, it has had little overall impact on fundamental rule of law reforms in the region. We recommend that the Commission strengthens the mechanism for promoting rule of law reforms; intensifies support to civil society organisations and independent media; reinforces the use of conditionality; and strengthens project reporting and monitoring.

‚ÄčECA special report pursuant to Article 287(4), second subparagraph, TFEU.