The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights notes that
since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union
has expanded its work, which now encompasses certain traditional
activities of the Council of Europe, such as in the field of justice
and home affairs as well as initiatives with respect to democracy, human
rights and the rule of law, both inside and outside the European
Union. In March 2014, the European Commission issued a Communication
on “A new EU Framework to strengthen Rule of Law”, in order to address systematic
threats to the rule of law in European Union member States.
The Legal Committee stresses that the European Union should,
in particular, make use of the Council of Europe’s expertise in
implementing the European Commission’s proposal on the rule of law
The report also notes that Opinion 2/13 of the Court of Justice
of the European Union on the European Union’s accession to the European
Convention on Human Rights, of December 2014, identified a number
of legal obstacles to this process, and stresses the need for negotiations
to be resumed as soon as possible.
The report also considers the “human rights” repercussions
of austerity measures imposed on certain States in the eurozone
– especially by the European Central Bank and the European Commission
– and criticises lack of transparency in this area.