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IP/05/961

Brussels, 18 July 2005

EU on the right track in implementing the Internal Market

Member States have made impressive progress in transposing Internal Market Directives, leading to one of the best achievements ever. Unfortunately, too often, Member States still incorrectly apply Internal Market rules: only four Member States have managed to reduce the number of infringement cases against them.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: “I congratulate Member States on this impressive achievement. Nevertheless, there is still much to do in certain areas: despite 11 Member States having reached the target of 1.5% transposition deficit and another 5 being very close, 9 Member States have still not reached the target, and I encourage them to redouble their efforts. However, I don’t want to detract from the overall result of this Scoreboard - I am delighted with it and hope this trend continues.”

Transposition of Internal Market Directives

  • The transposition deficit - the average percentage per Member State of Internal Market Directives in force that have not been written into national law - is now 1.9% for EU-25 Member States, compared to 7.1% last year which is the second best result ever;
  • The transposition deficit is slightly higher for EU-25 at 2.1%, which is 0.1% down from June 2004;
  • The new Member States thus perform better than the EU-15 Member States, despite having to absorb the whole acquis in a short time frame;
  • 245 or 15% of Internal Market Directives have not been transposed on time into national law in one or more of those Member States. In some cases, transposition is over two years overdue;
  • Lithuania, Hungary and Slovenia are top of the league. Denmark and Finland are best among EU-15. Malta, Spain, the Slovak Republic, Sweden and the UK also show outstanding results; they all achieve the 1.5% transposition deficit target set by the European Council;
  • The Netherlands, Ireland, Poland, Cyprus and Austria are on the wrong side of the target, but still close;
  • Portugal, the Czech Republic (worst among EU-10!), Greece, Luxemburg and Italy all perform very badly, with transposition deficits of more than double the 1.5% target.

Transposition of Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) Directives – taking stock

  • Now that most actions of the FSAP have been completed, it is time to take stock: it is striking that, even more so on FSAP directives, the top performers are EU-10 Member States (except for Denmark, Austria and Germany);
  • Worst performers are, in decreasing order, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Greece, Sweden, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and, surprisingly for a major financial player, the UK.

Infringements and Alternative Problem-Solving

  • The Internal Market Strategy 2003-2006 called for a reduction of 50% by 2006, but only 4 EU-15 Member States (Belgium, Austria, France and the Netherlands) have actually managed to reduce the number of infringement cases against them. Greece, Germany, Sweden and Denmark have the highest number of additional cases in the past year. Of the EU-10 Member States, no less than 13 infringement proceedings were opened against Poland in the last year.
  • No Member State is even close to achieving a 50% reduction by 2006.
  • Package meetings are an efficient tool in solving infringement proceedings at an early stage: results were booked within 6 months in over 50% of cases (35% were solved within 6 months of the package meeting and a decisive procedural step was taken within the same time frame in a further 20% of cases).
  • Solvit, the online problem resolution network for complaints about the incorrect application of EU rules by public authorities (see IP/02/1558), has seen its case flow double over the last year. France, Germany and Spain handled the most cases.

Transposition of European standards

  • Despite the importance of European standards for industry, many national standards organisations are failing to transpose European standards on time. Ten Member States have a transposition deficit of over 1,000 standards. However, most Member States have dramatically improved their record compared with last year.

Practical effects of the Internal Market

  • The extent to which prices of tradable goods and services converge across Member States is a reliable indicator or how well the Internal Market functions. The long-term trend seems to indicate that price dispersion consistently decreases.
  • The longer countries are a member of the EU, the more prices for tradable goods have converged across Member States.

The full text of the Internal Market Scoreboard is at:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/score/index_en.htm

Annex

Internal Market Scoreboard 2005:

Transposition and application of Internal Market rules (details)

Transposition – EU-25 Member States

EU-25 Member State transposition deficit, as at 1/6/2005 – 1604 directives

Member State
LT
HU
SI
DK
FI
MT
DE
ES
SK
SE
UK
NL
IE
PL
CY
AT
BE
FR
EE
LV
PT
CZ
EL
LU
IT
Transposition Deficit (%)
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.8
0.8
1.2
1.4
1.4
1.4
1.4
1.4
1.6
1.6
1.7
1.7
1.8
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.5
3.4
3.6
3.7
4.0
4.1
Number of Directives
11
12
12
13
13
19
22
22
22
22
23
25
26
27
28
29
38
38
39
40
54
57
59
64
66

EU-15 Member State performance in meeting 0% target for Directives whose transposition is over 2 years late, as at 1/6/2005

Member State
DK
PT
ES
IE
FI
BE
NL
AT
SE
FR
UK
EL
DE
IT
LU
Number of Directives
0
0
1
1
1
2
2
3
3
4
5
6
7
7
7

Transposition - Financial Services Action Plan Directives

EU-25 Member State transposition deficit, as at 1/6/2005 – 18 directives

Member State
DK
AT
DE
EE
CY
MT
PL
IE
LV
HU
SI
SK
FI
LT
UK
CZ
ES
IT
BE
FR
PT
SE
EL
LU
NL
Transposition Deficit (%)
0.0
0.0
5.6
5.6
5.6
5.6
5.6
11.1
11.1
11.1
11.1
11.1
11.1
16.7
22.2
27.8
27.8
27.8
33.3
33.3
33.3
33.3
44.4
50.0
55.6

Infringement cases against EU-15 Member States, as at 1 May 2005

Member State
DK
FI
LU
SE
NL
IE
AT
PT
UK
BE
EL
DE
ES
FR
IT
Number of open infringement cases
32
37
38
39
53
55
56
56
62
66
88
105
113
117
152

Infringement cases against EU-10 Member States, as at 1 May 2005

Member State
LT
EE
HU
SI
CZ
CY
LV
SK
MT
PL
Number of open infringement cases
1
3
4
4
5
5
6
7
9
13

Number of European and harmonised standards whose transposition is late

First Division

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

HES stands for “Harmonised European Standards”, OES stands for “Other European Standards”

Second Division
[Graphic in PDF & Word format]


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