As outlined in the Commission’s 2014 communication, structured dialogue within the framework consists of three possible stages (see Figure 2 below): a) an assessment stage, in which the Commission collects information and evaluates it in order to determine whether there is a threat to the rule of law in a Member State and, in the case of a positive answer, decides to send a ‘rule of law opinion’ to the Member State concerned and give it the possibility to respond; b) a second stage in which the Commission might address a ‘rule of law recommendation’ with specific indications on how to resolve the situation within a prescribed deadline to the Member State concerned if it has not properly redressed the situation before; and c) a follow-up stage, in which the implementation of the recommendation is monitored by the Commission. This stage may potentially be followed by the activation of Article 7 TEU and/or Article 258 TFEU infringement actions if the Commission considers that the Member State has not properly remedied the situation.
The Commission’s rule of law framework
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