Publication Date: July 2021

The 2021 Rule of Law Report, including its 27 country chapters, presents positive and negative developments across the Member States in four key areas for the rule of law: the justice system, the anti-corruption framework, media pluralism and other institutional issues related to checks and balances. This year’s report consolidates the exercise started by the 2020 report, deepening the Commission’s assessment and further developing on the impact and challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country chapters, which rely on a qualitative assessment carried out by the Commission, analyse new developments since the first report and the follow-up to the challenges and developments identified in the 2020 Report.

As part of the preparation of the 2021 Rule of Law Report, the European Commission invited stakeholders to provide written contributions through a targeted stakeholder consultation opened from 1 February to 8 March 2021. The consultation has provided over 200 horizontal and country-specific contributions from a variety of EU agencies, European networks, national and European civil society organisations and professional associations and international and European actors. The information obtained from this consultation has contributed to the assessment of the Commission with factual findings on developments in the Member States.

Replies to the targeted stakeholder consultation are published with the consent of the stakeholder. In addition, the Council of Europe and the Fundamental Rights Agency have also directly provided written contributions for the preparation of the 2021 Rule of Law Report, which are published separately. An overview of the contributions, including a list of all contributors who have consented to the publication of their name, can be found in the summary.

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