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IP/07/991

Brussels, 2nd July 2007

Internal Market Scoreboard: Member States need to focus on correctly applying Internal Market rules

According to the European Commission’s latest Internal Market Scoreboard, on average 1.6% of Internal Market Directives for which the implementation deadline has passed are not currently written into national law, up from the best-ever result of 1.2% in January 2007 (IP/07/126). This means that the average deficit remains above the new 1% interim target agreed by Heads of State in March 2007. Nevertheless the Commission sees reasons for optimism as to the next overall result in January 2008, with most Member States appearing to be on the right track and nine Member States having already reached the new 1% target. However, Member States too often fail to apply Internal Market rules correctly: only four 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 result might seem disappointing at first sight, given that the recent positive trend was reversed. For some Member States the result is very disappointing. But overall there are signs that we will be back on track again in six months' time. I hope this will be the case. Member States now need to focus on correctly applying Internal Market rules and on solving infringement cases more quickly than is the case today."

Implementation of Internal Market Directives

  • At 1.6%, the average transposition deficit – the percentage of Internal Market Directives that have not been implemented into national law in time – for the 25 Member States (i.e. not including Bulgaria and Romania) remains above the new interim target of 1%. This new target, to be reached by end 2009 at the latest, was set after Member States had reached the previous target of 1.5% at the end of 2006.
  • Figures for Bulgaria and Romania have not been integrated into this Scoreboard's figures, given the enormous task they faced in transposing the whole EU acquis in time for accession. If their average deficit (5.2%) were taken into account, the overall average would be higher at 1.8%.
  • Nine Member States – Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia – have already reached the new 1% interim target.
  • However, only 16 out of 25 Member States have remained below the ceiling of a 1.5% transposition deficit compared to 21 in December 2006.
  • Lithuania is firmly in first position, followed by Latvia.
  • Estonia and France have achieved their best result ever.
  • Belgium has equalled its May 2002 best performance with a 1.5 % deficit, while Germany and Malta have equalled their best results from 6 months ago.
  • Denmark, although still close to the top position, has seen its performance slip by 0.6 percentage point, contrary to previous excellent results.
  • All other Member States that have remained below 1.5% have nevertheless seen their performance slip.
  • Four Member States that reached the 1.5% target in December 2006 have failed to do so this time around. These are the Netherlands, Ireland (by a small margin), Poland and Spain. However, the Netherlands seem to be well on track to improve on this performance in six months' time.
  • Portugal's result is 3 times worse than the old EU target. Last time around, Portugal was already the worst performer, yet it has increased its deficit further by a worrying 1.4%.
  • Luxembourg and Italy have both have slipped 0.5% or more, but there are indications that this slippage will be temporary for Luxembourg.
  • Poland has doubled its deficit, while the Czech Republic added 0.7% and seems ill-prepared to meet the target in the near future.
  • Greece's deficit, though still above the target, represents its best-ever performance.

Infringements

  • The incorrect transposition and application of Internal Market rules remains a problem. There is an upward trend in the number of infringement cases, and the EU-25 average for each Member State is now 53 cases, up from 50 six months ago.
  • Malta, Poland and Ireland, in particular, have each recorded a substantial increase in the number of infringement cases over the last half year.
  • Only four Member States managed to reduce the number of infringement proceedings: Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
  • The sectors with most infringements are, in decreasing order, environment, taxation and customs union, and energy and transport, which account for almost half of all cases. Taxation and customs union matters have overtaken energy and transport as the second most important source of infringements over the past half year.
  • In the field of public procurement, good progress has been made: there is a net decrease of 17 in the number of cases over the past 6 months, whilst the number of cases in the field of services has remained stable at around 110.

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 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 16:

Transposition and application of Internal Market rules (details)

Transposition

EU-25 Member State transposition deficit, as at 10/05/2007 – 1628 directives

Ranking
1
2
3
4
5
6
6
6
6
10
10
10
13
14
14
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

Member State
LT
LV
SK
DK
DE
EE
CY
MT
SI
FR
HU
UK
AT
FI
SE
BE
NL
IE
PL
ES
CZ
EL
IT
LU
PT
EU
Transposition deficit (%)
0.5
0.7
0.9
0.9
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.2
1.2
1.2
1.4
1.4
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7
1.8
1.9
2.3
2.4
2.7
3.3
4.4
1.6
Number of directives
8
11
14
15
16
17
17
17
17
19
19
19
22
23
23
25
26
27
29
31
38
39
44
53
71

Missing notifications to reach the 1.5% objective
















1
2
4
6
13
14
19
28
46

BG + RO transposition deficit, as at 10/05/2007

Member State
BG
RO
Transposition deficit (%)
2.9
7.4
Number of directives
47
121
Missing notifications to reach the 1.5% objective
22
96

EU-25 Member State performance in meeting 0% target for Directives whose transposition is over 2 years late, as at 10/05/2007

Member State
DK
CY
EE
IE
LT
LV
HU
MT
NL
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
DE
PL
EL
FR
IT
AT
BE
PT
ES
CZ
LU
Number of directives
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
2
2
2
2
3
4
5
6
7

Infringement cases

EU-25 Member State number of open infringement proceedings, as at 1/05/2007

Member State
SI
LT
EE
SK
LV
CZ
HU
DK
CY
MT
FI
LU
NL
SE
AT
IE
UK
PL
BE
PT
DE
EL
FR
ES
IT
Number of open infringement cases
17
17
18
20
22
27
28
30
30
36
37
42
47
48
58
59
59
59
71
75
82
89
99
108
153


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