Did you Know?

It is the responsibility of the European Commission (EC) to ensure that EU Law is fully and correctly enforced in EU Member States. If it is found that a Member fails to do so the EC may take legal action by launching an Infringement Procedure.


EDC News: EU Law Enforced!!!

When a country joins the European Union it is under the condition that it accepts the acquis (the body of common rights and obligations that is binding on all the EU member states) and makes current and future EU law part of its own national legislation. One of the European Commission’s responsibilities, under the Article 226 within the Treaty Establishing the European Community, is to monitor and ensure that each Member State is meeting their primary responsibility for the correct and timely application of EU Treaties and legislation.

The European Commission will view a Member State in breach of its responsibility when a Member State:

Failure to reach an acceptable solution between the European Commission and the Member State, through a structural dialogue, the European Commission will open formal Infringement Proceedings. Below are the steps the European Commission follows to resolve the infringement of the Member State:

  • Letter of formal notice - national government has the opportunity to comment on non-compliance problem within 2 months

  • Reasoned opinion – In the case of no or unsatisfactory reply the Commission states reasons why it believes the Member State has breached EU law. The national government has 2 months or less to comply.

  • Referral to the Court of Justice – In the case of no or unsatisfactory reply the Commission asks Court to open litigation procedure. If a Member State fails to notify measures to implement a directive, Commission may at this stage ask Court of Justice to impose lump sum and/or penalty payment.

  • Judgment by Court of Justice - After an average of 2 years, Court decides whether the Member State has breached EU law. National Government is responsible to adapt its laws or practices and to resolve initial dispute as soon as possible.

  • Under Article 260 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty, if a Member State has not taken the necessary measures to comply with a judgment of the Court of Justice, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice.

On a monthly basis, the European Commission produces a package of infringement decisions, whereby it is pursuing several legal actions against Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law.

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