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Brussels, 3 August 2005

Internal Market: Commission moves against 16 Member States for failure to implement EU legislation on financial services

The European Commission has decided to pursue infringement procedures against 16 Member States for failure to implement various Financial Services Directives. The Commission will formally ask Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxemburg, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom to implement quickly the necessary legislation in a total of 57 cases covering Directives on market abuse. These requests will take the form of “reasoned opinions”, the second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. Should a Member State which has received a reasoned opinion fail to give a satisfactory reply within the deadline (usually two months), the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: “Over the last six years we have made great strides towards a more open, integrated and competitive European financial market. However, some Member States are still lagging behind on the securities Directives. The Better Regulation agenda is not only about better rule making but also about better implementation, timely transposition into national legal systems and effective enforcement. Good rules that the Member States and the European Parliament have agreed which are not implemented on time are absolutely useless. Therefore, I hope these infringement procedures will encourage these Member States to act quickly and I strongly urge them to do so.”

This year, the legislative phase for the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) draws to a close. The Commission’s key priority for the next five years is to make certain the rules work in practice throughout the EU. These rules must be implemented correctly and on time by Member States and then applied in practice and vigorously enforced.

As part of this, the Commission has decided to pursue infringement procedures against 16 Member States for failure to implement the Market Abuse Directive (2003/6/EC) and its three technical implementing Directives (2003/124/EC, 2003/125/EC and 2004/72/EC). These infringement procedures cover 57 individual cases due to the fact that a Member State faces an infringement procedure for each of the Market Abuse Directives that have not yet been transposed. The deadline for transposition for these Directives was 12 October 2004. In addition to these procedures, the Commission has launched a league table covering all legislation adopted under the “Lamfalussy process”, which involves framework Directives adopted by the Council and European Parliament as well as related implementing measures drawn up by the Commission and adopted by the Commission through comitology (see IP/05/857).
The latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States is available at:

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