A yearly “rule of law review cycle” to help stop countries such as Hungary, Poland, and Romania from backsliding on EU norms that have been introduced by the European Commission.

The process would see EU officials take information from national institutions, international watchdogs such as the Council of Europe, as well as NGOs and EU agencies, to produce “an annual rule of law report that summarises the situation within the bloc,” according to the Commission.

The Commission will continue to “pursue a strategic approach to infringement proceedings” against members of the bloc who show signs of backsliding on core democratic values. For the time being, the plan is to assess the situation through yearly conferences with NGOs and academics in order to “develop a dedicated communication strategy on the rule of law”.

The plan adopted will be subjected to an initial discussion in EU’s General Affairs Council, where the bloc’s EU Affairs managers will also discuss Poland and Hungary, two countries where the rule of law and judicial independence have come into question.

The Commission has also warned Romania and Malta guarantee “the separation of powers: and “respect for the political opposition”.