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Věra Jourová: We Can Only Preach on the Rule of Law if We Keep Our Own House in Order

October 27, 2022 by BSC

Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission, spoke about the current pressures that democracy, fundamental rights, and rule of law face within the EU and beyond. She highlighted that parliamentary democracies are under attack, as we are witnessing now in Russia’s war against Ukraine. Therefore, at this moment, defending democracy is paramount.  

Progress on promoting democracy, fundamental rights, and rule of law will determine the pace of EU accession in candidate countries. Jourová stressed that it is in the EU’s own interest to promote the rule of law in candidate countries. 

However, she emphasized that “we can only preach on the rule of law if we keep our own house in order.” If the rule of law within an EU member state is threatened, this challenges the legitimacy of the entire EU and its policies. Therefore, the European Commission should work towards strengthening the rule of law and democracy within the EU. This involves the implementation of a rule of law culture in the EU, an early intervention when problems emerge, and an effective response to problems.  

Jourová concluded that she is fully convinced that the EU can work together with the Western Balkans to jointly defend common values and security.