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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 27 September 2012

Public procurement: Commission asks Court of Justice to fine Poland, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Slovenia for not implementing defence procurement rules

The European Commission has decided to refer Poland, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Slovenia to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to fully implement the Directive on procurement of arms, munitions and war material (and related works and services) for defence purposes, as well as the procurement of sensitive supplies, works and services for security purposes. Directive 2009/81/EC was adopted in August 2009 and had to be implemented in all EU Member States by 20 August 2011. The Commission has also decided to ask the Court to impose daily penalty payments on the four Member States until they fully implement the Directive.

Most Member States have adopted implementing legislation. However, Poland, The Netherlands and Luxembourg have not yet notified to the Commission any national implementing measures. Slovenia has only notified part of the required provisions.

If the Directive is not fully implemented in all Member States, companies and taxpayers are denied the benefits of easier access to a more open, transparent, pan-European defence market.

The Commission proposes a daily penalty payment of € 70 561.92 for Poland, € 57 324.80 for The Netherlands, € 8 320 for Luxembourg and € 7 038.72 for Slovenia which would have to be paid as from the date of the Court's affirmative ruling until the Member States concerned notify the Commission that they have fully implemented the rules into national law.

These financial penalties are proposed by the Commission under the Lisbon Treaty and take into account the duration and the gravity of the infringement and the size of the Member State. The final decision on the penalties rests with the Court.


Directive 2009/81/EC introduces the following measures at European level:

  • fair and transparent rules to help companies access defence and security markets in other EU countries;

  • flexibility for contracting authorities to negotiate in detail all features of complex contracts;

  • the option for contracting authorities to require safeguards (from suppliers) to ensure the protection of classified information against unauthorised access and security of supply, which would help ensure that armed forces receive deliveries in time - particularly in times of crisis or armed conflict.

It covers specific security and defence procurement contracts for:

  • military equipment1 and related works and services;

  • sensitive security equipment works and services which involve access to classified information.

More information

Defence procurement: state of transposition of Directive 2009/81/EC for all Member States:

Latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States:

For more information on infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/12 - MEMO/12/708

Contacts :

Stefaan De Rynck (+32 2 296 34 21)

Carmel Dunne (+32 2 299 88 94)

Audrey Augier (+32 2 297 16 07)

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