On Thursday 25 February the European Commission will adopt its monthly infringements package. These decisions seek to enforce EU law across Europe so that citizens and businesses can benefit fully from the internal market.
The Member States of the EU must apply EU law correctly and timely. The European Commission acts as a Guardian of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and oversees the application of EU law under the supervision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court).
Article 258 of the TFEU gives the Commission the power to take legal action against a Member State that is not respecting its obligations under EU law.
The Commission and Member State will first engage in an informal bilateral dialogue. If they do not succeed in finding a legally acceptable solution, the European Commission may open a formal infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice (LFN, Article 258 of TFEU) to the Member State in question. If the Commission receives no reply or an unsatisfactory one, the Commission asks the Member State to comply within a given time limit by sending a reasoned opinion (Article 258 of TFEU).
If the Member State does not send a (satisfactory) reply after receiving the reasoned opinion, the Commission brings the Member State concerned before the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court, Article 258 of TFEU). When it brings a case before the Court under Article 258 of TFEU because a Member State has failed to fulfil its obligations to notify measures transposing a legislative directive, the Commission may propose financial penalties under Article 260(3) of TFEU.
If the Court rules against the Member State and it still does not comply, the Commission launches a second infringement procedure by sending a second letter of formal notice under Article 260(2) of TFEU. In a second judgement, the Court may, based on a Commission proposal, impose a lump sum and/or a daily penalty payment on the Member State concerned (Article 260(2) of TFEU).
A press release and a comprehensive factsheet on key decisions will be available on the day in the Press Release Database.
– on decisions, consult the register of infringement decisions;
– questions and answers on the infringement procedure in general.
Alexander Winterstein, Uldis Šalajevs (see contact details below)
On specific infringements, please contact the Spokesperson in charge.