Brussels, 3 June 2010
Data retention: Commission goes to Court against Luxembourg for failing to transpose EU legislation
Two years and eight months after the deadline, Luxembourg still has not fully transposed the Data Retention Directive. This is likely to have a negative effect on the internal market, since telephone companies and internet service providers are subject to different requirements in different Member States. It also affects the possibilities for police and justice authorities to use communications data to detect, investigate and prosecute crime. The European Commission has therefore asked the European Court of Justice to examine whether or not Luxembourg has failed to fulfil its obligation to implement the Directive in its national law.
The Commission today referred the case against Luxembourg to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), asking it to rule on whether Luxembourg has failed to meet its obligations under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Luxembourg has submitted draft legislation to its Parliament, but did not submit a timetable for its adoption. Incomplete transposition impairs police work and distorts economic conditions in the internal market to the detriment of competitors operating in other Member States.
Currently, six Member States, Luxembourg included, have not transposed the Directive. Ireland and Greece were found to be in breach of EU law by the ECJ at the end of 2009, and Sweden in February this year. A case against Austria is pending. In Romania the national law transposing the Directive was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court. A similar decision was taken in Germany and a case is pending in Hungary.
For more information about the three-stage infringement process, see IP/10/670.
The Data Retention Directive should have been transposed on 15 September 2007, with a possibility to postpone the application of national legislation until 15 March 2009 to the retention of communications data relating to Internet access, Internet telephoning and Internet e-mail.
Luxembourg has applied for postponing the transposition several times over the last years. On February 2010, Luxembourg did respond to the Commission saying that it had proposed legislation to its parliament to transpose the Directive into national law. However, in the absence of a precise timetable for adoption of the legislation, the Commission considers that Luxembourg did not comply with the Treaty obligations.
For more information
Justice and Home Affairs Newsroom:
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs: