The second Report on the Rule of Law in the EU published by the European Commission today looks into the situation in the EU as a whole and in individual Member States. After presenting a general overview in the 2020 edition, the new edition looks at the developments, building on the issues identified in the 2020 Report and taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. At a press conference for the presentation of the report, Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders spoke in general terms of a positive situation, since the previous report “has encouraged positive reforms related to the rule of law”, in dialogue with Member States. This shows that the report is a “preventive tool” that can stimulate debate and have an impact in Member States. There are still concerns though, as Vice-President Vera Jourova explained, about media freedom and the safety of journalists, who are increasingly the target of threats and violence, as the recent murder of Dutch journalist Peter de Vries shows. The media is one of the four key issues examined in the report, alongside judicial systems, the anti-corruption framework, and other institutional checks and balances. According to Vice-President Jourova, “we need to step up our actions to uphold the rule of law. No one is immune to the forces that undermine its foundations”. The report is at the centre of a yearly cycle mechanism to “promote the rule of law and prevent problems from emerging or deepening further”.