In this edition I would like to draw your attention to the importance of fundamental rights and the rule of law. Both now face significant challenges in the EU and globally.The respect for our common EU values lies at the heart of the European project, as enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU. The rule of law is a cornerstone of democracy; without it, citizens could not enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms. I am particularly alarmed by the deterioration in fundamental rights and the authoritarian drift that is spreading across the EU. The European Union is facing challenges such as democratic backsliding, interference with the judiciary, a shrinking civic space, curbs on fundamental rights, and even, in extreme cases, the murder of journalists and politicians.