This paper analyses the situation of democracy and rule of law in Europe from the per-spective of the protection mechanisms that have been put in place by the European institu-tions. It is questioned the false equivalence that is produced with the new European rule of law mechanism by subjecting all the Member States to scrutiny as if the specific problems of democratic involution of some States such as Hungary or Poland were comparable to the democratic normality of most of the Member States. From this perspective, it is proposed the need to differentiate between the risks of the rule of law and democracy with a gradation. On the one hand, avoiding confusion between the normal functioning of the internal constitutional guarantees of the problems of democracy and the rule of law. On the other hand, distinguishing within the latter three degrees: problems of democratic quality, global risks and democratic regressions. Problems of democratic quality have essentially national solutions, global risks, on the other hand, must be based on European solutions, and democratic regressions require a combination of national and European efforts.