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International IDEA supports informal General Affairs Council meeting

April 29, 2024 • By Charles Brasseur
Informal General Affairs Council 30th April 2024

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) presented on 30 April to the Europe ministers of the 27 EU Member States the key findings of its Policy Paper “Towards an enlarged Union: Upholding the rule of law”.  

The presentation’s purpose was to assist EU ministers in identifying concrete action to ensure that the rule of law and democracy remain at the heart of a Union that is expected to enlarge to a significant number of new members in the coming years. The EU ministers subsequently discussed International IDEA’s findings in smaller working groups and identified which recommendations should be taken forward as a priority.  

International IDEA in fact emphasized the need to put the rule of law high on the EU agenda given the number of threats and challenges that European democracies currently face. The European elections of June 2024 and the designation of a new EU leadership offer a unique opportunity to push for a value-based agenda in the next EU legislative term.  

Ultimately, all Europeans should embrace and uphold fundamental values, which would also ensure the effective and sustainable functioning of the EU. It is therefore in the interest of all EU members, be it aspiring or current ones, to ensure that the rule of law and democracy continue to guide their policies and action.

The meeting was part of the informal General Affairs Council (GAC) organized by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU in Brussels on 29-30 April 2024.

The Policy Paper was produced thanks to a fruitful partnership between the Belgian EU Presidency and International IDEA. It builds on International IDEA’s own data and interviews with 44 top EU officials and civil society experts, both in the EU and enlargement countries. The Policy Paper formulates 5 key recommendations detailed with 17 sub-recommendations and 42 proposed actions to strengthen the rule of law and democracy across the EU and in the enlargement countries.

About the authors

Charles Brasseur
Programme Manager
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