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European Commission - Press release

Broadband Cost Reduction Directive: Commission refers Bulgaria and the Netherlands to the Court and closes two cases

Brussels, 25 January 2018

The European Commission decided today to refer Bulgaria and the Netherlands to the Court of Justice of the EU for delay in transposing the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive (Directive 2014/61/EU).

At the same time, the Commission closes the cases against Austria and Luxembourg that have notified the complete transposition of the same Directive. Member States had to transpose the Directive into national law by 1 January 2016.

The Commission is calling on the Court to impose financial penalties: for Bulgaria - € 22 226.40 per day, for the Netherlands - € 87 091.20 per day. The infringement proceedings were opened against those countries in March 2016 and a reasoned opinion was sent in September 2016. These Member States have not yet notified the Commission all the measures necessary in order to transpose the Directive into national law. In July 2017, the Commission decided to refer Belgium and Slovakia to the Court of Justice of the EU for delay in transposing the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive.

The Broadband Cost Reduction Directive aims at incentivising cooperation across sectors and exploiting synergies (e.g. with energy, water, transport) to the benefit of the citizens by creating the condition for more efficient deployment of new physical infrastructure so that the networks can be rolled out at lower cost. Civil engineering, such as the digging-up of roads to lay down high-speed broadband, accounts for up to 80% of the cost of deploying broadband networks.

Next steps

In case the transposition remains incomplete and the Court of Justice of the EU confirms the Commission's view, the daily penalty would have to be paid from the date of the judgment or a later date set by the Court until the transposition is complete. The final amount of the daily penalty will be decided by the Court, but this cannot exceed the Commission's proposal.

Background

The Broadband Cost Reduction Directive (Directive 2014/61/EU) was adopted on 15 May 2014. Member States had to transpose the Directive into national law by 1 January 2016.

By failing to adopt all the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive or, in any event, by failing to notify such provisions to the Commission, Bulgaria and the Netherlands have failed to fulfil their obligations under Article 13of this Directive.

In practice, under Article 260(3) of Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) if a Member State fails to transpose an EU Directive into national law within the required deadline, the Commission may ask the Court to impose financial sanctions. The penalties take into account the seriousness and duration of the infringement.

After Austria and Luxembourg have officially notified the transposition of the Directive and the Commission assessed these notifications, the Commission propose to close these cases. The decision to close such non-communication cases is without prejudice to the assessment of the conformity of the notified measures with the broadband Cost Reduction Directive.

For More Information

-   Broadband Cost Reduction Directive

-   On the key decisions in the January 2018 infringements package, see full MEMO/18/349.

-   On the general infringements procedure, see MEMO/12/12(an info graph).

-   On the EU infringements procedure.

IP/18/352

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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