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IP/10/211

Brussels, 1 March 2010

Internal Market Scoreboard: Member States post best-ever result but action still needed on practical application of rules

Member States have never performed better in writing agreed Internal Market rules into national law on time, but still need to improve the way those rules are applied in practice, according to the European Commission’s latest Internal Market Scoreboard. On average 0.7% of Internal Market Directives for which the implementation deadline has passed are not currently written into national law, down from 1.0% in July 2009. This means that Member States are well below the 1.0% target agreed by Heads of State, which was to be achieved by 2009 at the latest. Twenty Member States are either at or below the target, while Lithuania and Malta were overall the best performers, being three Directives away from a perfect score. This is the third time that Malta has been in first position. Sixteen Member States achieved their best result so far. However, seven Member States – Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Luxembourg and Greece – are still above the target and hindering further reduction of the deficit. As regards application of EU law, there has been a slight reduction in the number of infringement cases, but the duration of the proceedings remains too long and Member States take on average 18 months to comply with Court of Justice rulings despite the legal obligation to take immediate action.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said: "This is an excellent result that will benefit the whole of the Internal Market. I encourage the seven Member States that have not yet reached the target to redouble their efforts. But the quality of implementation and practical application of the rules on the ground remains a big problem, affecting efficiency and undermining confidence in the Internal Market. Non-compliance with Court rulings is simply unacceptable. I fully intend to use the possibility under the new Treaty to enforce these rulings more rapidly. I want to establish a true partnership with Member States to better understand and prevent these problems. Together I am sure that we can put citizens and businesses back at the heart of the Internal Market.”

Implementation of Internal Market Directives

  • At 0.7%, the average transposition deficit – the percentage of Internal Market Directives that have not been implemented into national law in time – of the 27 Member States is well below the interim target of 1% agreed by the Heads of State and Government in 2007. This is the first time that Member States have outperformed their target within the deadline agreed upon.

  • In total, 16 Member States achieved or equalled their best result ever: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Spain, France, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Finland and the United Kingdom.

  • The number of Member States achieving the target went up from 18 to 20. The Member States still not in line with the 1% target are the following: Austria, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Luxembourg and Greece. This being said, with the exception of Austria, all 7 Member States managed to considerably reduce their deficits.

  • Given the volume of legislation that will come on stream in the next 6 months, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Poland will all need to take drastic action to reach the target next time round.

  • Member States have managed to decrease the number of long-overdue directives from 22 to 16 within the last six months.

  • Member States have also managed to reduce the number of directives not correctly transposed. Adding the number of directives not correctly transposed to the number of directives not transposed in time results in an EU average deficit of 1.5% compared to 1.8% half a year ago.

  • Member States should now put an increased focus on the need to reduce transposition delays. Today, on average Member States take an extra 9 months to transpose directives after the transposition deadline expires. Greece and Luxembourg are the worst offenders in this respect.

Infringements

  • The overall number of infringement proceedings has decreased slightly by 1.2% compared to half a year ago. As in previous years, the areas of "taxation and custom union" and "environment" remain the biggest sources of infringements.

  • Italy accounts for most of the open infringement proceedings, followed by Greece and Spain.

  • The average time needed to resolve infringements has risen. Compared to December 2007 the time needed has increased from 25 months to 28 for the EU-15 and from 12 months to 16 for the EU-12.

  • Member States take considerable time – on average almost 18 months – to comply with rulings of the Court of Justice, even though they are required to take immediate action. Austria and Spain account for the longest delay, taking on average approximately 25 months to comply with rulings.

The full text of the latest Internal Market Scoreboard is available at:

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

Annex

Internal Market Scoreboard 20:

Transposition and implementation of Internal Market rules (details )

Transposition

EU-27 Member State transposition deficit, as at 10/11/2009 – 1521 directives

Ranking

1

1

3

3

3

6

6

6

6

10

10

12

12

14

15

16

16

18

19

20

21

21

23

24

25

25

27

Member State

LT

MT

BG

DK

RO

HU

LV

SK

SE

NL

SI

ES

FI

DE

FR

EE

UK

CY

BE

IE

AT

PT

CZ

PL

IT

LU

EL

EU

Transposition deficit (%)

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.7

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

1.1

1.1

1.2

1.4

1.4

1.4

1.5

0.7

Number of directives not transposed

3

3

4

4

4

6

6

6

6

7

7

8

8

9

10

11

11

12

13

15

16

16

19

21

22

22

23

Missing notifications to reach the 1% objective

1

1

4

6

7

7

8

EU-27 Member State performance in meeting 0% target for Directives whose transposition is over 2 years late, as at 10/11/2009

Member State

BG

CZ

DK

EE

CY

LV

LT

HU

MT

NL

SI

RO

BE

DE

IE

ES

FR

PL

SK

FI

SE

UK

IT

AT

PT

LU

EL

Number of directives not transposed

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

3

3

3

5

6

Infringement cases

EU-27 Member State number of open infringement proceedings, as at 1/11/2009

Member State

CY

LT

SI

LV

EE

RO

DK

FI

BG

MT

LU

CZ

HU

SK

AT

SE

NL

PL

UK

IE

DE

PT

FR

BE

EL

ES

IT

Number of open infringement cases

14

18

19

20

21

21

23

24

29

29

31

32

32

35

38

42

49

57

59

67

68

69

83

90

93

93

100


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