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Compatibility of Germany’s Democracy Promotion Act with Union law in view of potential constitutional concerns

Question écrite de Mme Christine ANDERSON - Commission européenne

Question de Mme Christine ANDERSON,

Diffusée le 19 mars 2024

Subject: Compatibility of Germany’s Democracy Promotion Act with Union law in view of potential constitutional concerns

Germany is in the process of bringing in a ‘Democracy Promotion Act’1 designed to establish additional tools for promoting democracy. There are considerable concerns, however, as regards the act’s constitutionality2 and whether or not it runs counter to the EU’s core values. The criticism centres around potential government overreach and the creation of structures that threaten to curtail the freedom and independence of civil society in breach of the principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)3.

1. What is the Commission’s assessment of the compatibility of Germany’s Democracy Promotion Act with the EU Treaties, particularly in view of the reservations raised by the Bundestag’s parliamentary research service concerning its potential unconstitutionality and violations of the EU’s core values laid down in Article 2 TEU?

2. Does it consider there to be a risk that the Democracy Promotion Act would quieten or silence opposition voices and critical civil society representatives? How does this square with the principles of freedom of expression and democratic pluralism enshrined in the EU Treaties?

Submitted:20.3.2024

1 https://dserver.bundestag.de/btd/20/058/2005823.pdf

2 https://www.bundestag.de/resource/blob/992270/3e37bd044f8fe7840bca05e5a0326edd/WD-3-019-24-

pdf.pdf

3 https://www.europarl.europa.eu/erpl-app-public/factsheets/pdf/en/FTU_4.1.2.pdf

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 5 juin 2024

Answer given by Vice-President Jourová on behalf of the European Commission (6 June 2024)

In accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on EU, the EU is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of those belonging to minorities.

These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

In the context of its European Democracy Action Plan (4), the Commission has been supporting proactive approaches upholding EU values and promoting an inclusive, diverse, and democratic Europe, including through dedicated funding, in full respect of fundamental rights and EU law.

The Commission takes note of the objectives pursued by the national legislative initiative referred to by the Honourable Member. The Commission will not comment on ongoing legislative processes in the Member States.

1 ∙ ⸱ https://dserver.bundestag.de/btd/20/058/2005823.pdf

2 ∙ ⸱ https://www.bundestag.de/resource/blob/992270/3e37bd044f8fe7840bca05e5a0326edd/WD-3-019-24-pdf.pdf

3 ∙ ⸱ https://www.europarl.europa.eu/erpl-app-public/factsheets/pdf/en/FTU_4.1.2.pdf

4 ∙ ⸱ https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM%3A2020%3A790%3AFIN&%3Bqid=1607079662423







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