On Thursday 8 December 2016, 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.
A press release and a comprehensive factsheet on key decisions will be available in the Press Release Database on the day.
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 a Member State will first engage in an informal bilateral dialogue. If they do not succeed in finding a solution compliant with EU law, 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 satisfactory reply, the Commission requests 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).
In case the Member State still does not comply, the Commission launches a second infringement procedure by sending a second letter of formal notice. In a second judgement, the Court may, on the basis of a proposal from the EC, impose lump sum and/or a daily penalty payment on a MS concerned (Art 260(2) of TFEU). In cases of failure to convert EU legislative directives into national law on time, the Commission may propose penalty payments without the need for a second judgement (Article 260(3) of TFEU).
- an infograph, EU infringements' stages in a nutshell;
- on monitoring the application of European Union law;
- on decisions, consult the register of infringement decisions;
- questions and answers on the infringement procedure;
On specific infringements, please contact the Spokesperson in charge.