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European Commission - Press release

Smart tools improve the application of EU law

Brussels, 29 September 2011 - The European Commission has issued its 28th Annual Report on monitoring the Application of EU Law (2010). The report shows a decrease in the number of infringement procedures launched by the Commission against Member States for failure to apply EU law. A new working method, EU Pilot, has played a major role in addressing possible infringements.

At the end of 2010, the Commission counted nearly 2100 infringement cases, 28% less than 12 months before. The wider use of EU Pilot, an innovative online platform for exchange of information between the Commission and almost all Member States, has played a major role in this context. For questions raised by citizens and businesses, the Commission and 25 Member States use EU Pilot to find quick solutions to problems related to EU law.

Citizens and businesses keep their central role in helping to ensure the correct application of EU rules: almost half of the cases arose from complaints submitted by the public. The Commission registered more than 4000 complaints and enquiries last year. In many cases, the complaint led to further investigations and the Commission invited the national authorities to look into the problems raised. At the end of 2010, 81% of the replies from Member States had been accepted by the Commission. EU Pilot thus proved to be an efficient tool in avoiding costs and time generated by formal legal procedures (under Articles 258 and 260 TFEU). 25 Member States have already joined EU Pilot; the Commission targets full membership by the end of 2011.

The Commission engaged in formal action whenever the solution offered by the national authorities was not compatible with EU law. However, only 114 cases had to be referred to the Court whereas 873 disputes could be closed beforehand. Environment, internal market & services and taxation remained the three most infringement-prone areas, together representing 52% of all the cases.

Late transposition still curbs EU benefits

In 2010, the Commission detected late transposition more often and this triggered more infringement procedures last year (855) than in 2009 (531). Due to Member States’ efforts more than half of these 855 cases could be closed by the end of 2010. Together with the carry-over from the previous years’, this resulted in 470 pending cases. Policy areas suffering from late transposition include environment, internal market & services, transport, judicial cooperation and fundamental rights. Scoreboard No. 23, released also today, reports on how Member States progressed with the transposition of directives specific to the Internal Market.

Background

Following a request made by the European Parliament the Commission presents, every year, since 1984, an annual report on monitoring the application of Community law during the preceeding year.

The European Parliament adopts, every year, a report on the Commission report, explaining its position on the main issues.

The full Annual Report is available under:

http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/infringements/infringements_annual_report_en.htm

See also:

The Internal Market Scoreboard, issue no. 23:

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

IP/11/1130

Contact :

Olivier Bailly (+32 2 296 87 17)


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