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MEPs call for better monitoring of fundamental rights in the EU

Ideas for an "EU framework for democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights", to assess whether EU member states live up to their obligations in these areas, were debated with Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Latvian Secretary of State for European Affairs Kalina Lukaševica late Wednesday afternoon.

MEPs stressed that there is an imbalance between the "Copenhagen criteria" which EU candidate countries are expected to live up to in areas such as press freedom, equal rights for minorities or independence of the judiciary, and the tools available to ensure that countries that become member states live up to the same criteria and that any breaches are sanctioned.

Most called for stronger measures to ensure democracy and the, rule of law and protect fundamental rights in the EU. The previous Parliament also voted several resolutions calling for better monitoring of fundamental rights.

Watch the recording of the debate and check our storify to see what speakers from the political groups said.

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