Sélecteur de langues
Brussels, 18 March 2010
Commission takes further steps against Austria, Greece, Ireland and Luxembourg
The Commission has taken further steps against Austria, Ireland, Greece and Luxembourg because it believes these Member States are breaking EU law, creating obstacles to the free movement of goods. The Commission is bound to ensure that EU law is correctly implemented.
In March 2010, the Commission decided to send 6 reasoned opinions and to refer 2 cases to the European Court of Justice. In most cases this is because Member States have not notified to Commission national laws they are obliged to adopt to give effect to Directives.
1. Reasoned opinion for breach of Directive
2. Reasoned opinions for not notifying national measures
3. Referrals to Court for not notifying national measures
The Commission has been granted the power to bring infringement proceedings against Member States under Articles 258 and 260 TFEU. The aim of such proceedings is not to drag Member States before the Court of Justice but to bring them back into line with EU law during a pre-litigation phase.
The main steps of the pre-litigation procedure are:
1. Letter of formal notice
The letter of formal notice represents the first stage in the pre-litigation procedure, during which the Commission offers the Member State the opportunity to comment on an alleged infringement. The Member State is given two months to reply.
2. Reasoned opinion
Based on the letter of formal notice, the reasoned opinion sets out in detail why the Commission has concluded that the Member State concerned has failed to fulfil one or more of its obligations under the Treaty or other EU legislation. Again, the Member State has two months to reply.
3. Decision to refer a case to the Court of Justice
Referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union opens the litigation procedure.
More information on the internal market for goods