Germany, Belgium Propose New Tool to Defend EU Democracy

Germany and Belgium have agreed on a new democracy mechanism designed to improve the EU's defenses against nationalist, anti-values governments. The proposal, outlined at a meeting of EU ministers on 19 March, would create a way for member states to flag concerns about rule-of-law violations and a much earlier stage. At present, such problems must escalate to a point where Article 7 sanctions may be triggered. According to Berlin and Brussels, the new screening mechanism would be voluntary and have no sanctions attached.