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Internal Market Scoreboard: best overall result ever

European Commission - IP/06/192   21/02/2006

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IP/06/192

Brussels, 21 February 2006

Internal Market Scoreboard: best overall result ever

Member States have made their best ever progress in implementing agreed Internal Market rules into national law, according to the European Commission’s latest Internal Market Scoreboard. On average only 1.6% of Internal Market Directives for which the implementation deadline has passed are not currently written into national law. This is down from 1.9% in July 2005 (IP/05/961) and is very close to the 1.5% interim target agreed by Heads of State. Individual progress has been made by 'old' and 'new' Member States alike, but overall 'new' Member States, with an average deficit of 1.2%, are performing substantially better than 'old' Member States. However, too often, Member States fail to apply Internal Market rules correctly: only five Member States have managed to reduce the number of infringement proceedings against them. The full text of the latest Internal Market Scoreboard is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/score/index_en.htm

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "This is an excellent result. It shows that Member States are ever more committed to making the single market work, which is crucial to the growth and jobs agenda. I encourage Member States to build on this progress and urge those who are still lagging behind to redouble their efforts. By the next Scoreboard I hope to be congratulating everyone on breaking the 1.5% barrier."

Transposition of Internal Market Directives

  • At the end of 2005 the transposition deficit - the percentage of Internal Market Directives that have not been written into national law - is 1.6% for the EU-25 Member States. This is the best overall result since monitoring began in 1997.
  • Nevertheless this is still short of the interim target of 1.5% that the Heads of State have agreed on.
  • 17 Member States have reached the 1.5% target. Once again, Lithuania has the lowest deficit, followed by Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Poland and Sweden.
  • 3 Member States are close to reaching the 1.5% target: France, Belgium and Ireland.
  • The Czech Republic and Italy are still some way off the target but, importantly, these Member States have made impressive progress since the last Scoreboard.
  • Portugal has a long way to go and progress over the last 6 months has been modest.
  • The deficits of Luxembourg and Greece have increased compared to 6 months ago.
  • Although individual progress is evenly divided between 'old' and 'new' Member States, the excellent result is largely due to the efforts pursued by the 'new' Member States. The transposition deficit for 'new' Member States is 1.2%, compared to 1.9% for 'old' Member States. Of the 8 Member States not having reached the 1.5% target, 7 are 'old' Member States.

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

  • Five Member States have now written into national law all financial services directives whose transposition deadlines have expired: Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Austria and Poland.
  • Next are Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Hungary, the Slovak Republic and Finland, who all have one financial services directive to transpose.
  • In line with the general picture, Luxembourg and Greece are bottom of the league. The modest progress made by Portugal in the last 6 months does not seem to translate into the financial services area: Portugal has the largest number of overdue financial services directives.

Infringements

  • The Internal Market Strategy 2003-2006 called on Member States to halve their number of infringement cases by 2006, but only five Member States – France, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands – have managed to reduce the number of proceedings against them over the last three years. The number of infringement cases against all Member States has increased.
  • Moreover, no Member State will achieve the aim of a 50% reduction of infringement proceedings against them by the year 2006, compared with 2003.
  • Given that the Commission first started to look into problems of incorrect application of Internal Market rules in 'new' Member States in May 2004, figures cannot be compared with those for the 'old' Member States. However, the high number of infringement cases against Poland, Malta and the Czech Republic seems to suggest that there is a problem of incorrect application of internal market legislation in these Member States that needs to be addressed.

Benefits of the Internal Market and the importance of implementation

The Internal Market plays a key role in achieving the EU's objective of creating more growth and jobs. It has created millions of jobs and billions of euros in extra prosperity. It gives EU citizens a wider choice of quality goods and services and greater freedom to travel, work, study and live in other EU countries, while making for a more efficient allocation of resources and offering greater trading opportunities to businesses. But the Internal Market can only achieve its full potential if legislation agreed at European level is effectively implemented and applied by all Member States.

Annex

Internal Market Scoreboard 14 bis:

Transposition and application of Internal Market rules (details)

Transposition – EU-25 Member States

EU-25 Member State transposition deficit, as at 1/12/2005 – 1635 directives

Member State
LT
DK
HU
FI
PL
SE
CY
LV
MT
SI
NL
DE
EE
SK
UK
AT
ES
FR
BE
IE
CZ
IT
PT
EL
LU
Transposition Deficit (%)
0.4
0.7
0.7
0.8
0.9
0.9
1.1
1.1
1.2
1.2
1.2
1.3
1.3
1.4
1.4
1.5
1.5
1.7
1.8
1.8
2.5
3.1
3.1
3.7
4.4
Number of Directives
6
11
12
13
14
14
18
18
19
19
19
22
22
23
23
24
25
28
29
30
41
50
50
60
72

EU-15 Member State performance in meeting 0% target for Directives whose transposition is over 2 years late, as at 1/12/2005

Member State
DK
NL
PT
FI
BE
ES
IE
SE
IT
AT
UK
DE
FR
EL
LU
Number of Directives
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
2
2
4
5
6
7
8

Transposition - Financial Services Action Plan Directives

EU-25 Member State transposition deficit, as at 1/12/2005 – 20 directives

Member State
DK
EE
LV
AT
PL
DE
IE
LT
HU
SK
FI
CY
MT
SI
IT
UK
BE
CZ
ES
FR
NL
SE
EL
LU
PT
Transposition Deficit (%)
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
15.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
25.0
25.0
25.0
25.0
35.0
35.0
40.0

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

Member State
DK
FI
LU
SE
NL
IE
PT
AT
UK
BE
EL
DE
FR
ES
IT
Number of open infringement cases
31
36
36
41
44
51
53
59
66
66
99
101
113
115
157

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

Member State
LT
LV
SI
EE
HU
SK
CY
CZ
MT
PL
Number of open infringement cases
4
7
7
8
10
10
11
14
14
18


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