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The  Commission  has decided  to  bring Member  States  before  the Court  of
Justice  and  to  send  reasoned   opinions  (the  second  stage   of  formal
infringement procedures) in 14 cases where Member States have  failed to meet
their  obligations to  transpose Single  Market Directives  within the agreed
deadlines.  The cases  concern  Directives in  the  fields of  recognition of
qualifications, citizens'  rights,  public procurement,  financial  services,
intellectual property and the  elimination of frontier controls (firearms and
works of  art). With  regard to the  reasoned opinions, in  the absence  of a
satisfactory  response  within  two months  following  receipt by  the Member
State concerned, the Commission may refer the cases to the Court of  Justice.
Following notifications of national transposition measures  for Single Market
Directives, the Commission has also closed 27 infringement procedures.

 The  Dublin European  Council , recalled  Single  Market Commissioner  Mario
MONTI,   stressed once  again the  essential role  of the  Internal Market in
promoting  growth and  employment in  the  Union. On  many occasions,  I have
personally drawn the attention of  the Ministers concerned of  the importance
of accelerating  full application of Single  Market Directives.   Despite the
progress we  have  achieved  which  has  allowed us  to  close  a  number  of
infringement  cases,  I  remain  concerned  with  persistent  delays  in  the
transposition and implementation of Directives .

Recognition of qualifications 

The Commission has  decided to send to Greece  a reasoned opinion, the second
stage of an  infringement procedure under Article  171 of the EC  Treaty, for
failing  to implement  the Court of Justice  ruling of 23  March 1995. In its
ruling,  the Court  condemned  Greece  having failed  to  transpose Directive
89/48/EEC. This Directive, which  entered into force on  4 January 1991,  set
up a general system of  recognition of higher education  qualifications which
sanction vocational training courses of at least three-years duration. 
The Directive is  intended to encourage  free movement of persons  within the
European  Union   while  ensuring  that  people  wishing  to  practise  their
profession in another Member State do  not have to qualify all over again. In
this respect, the  Directive is of direct  benefit to the citizen.  The basic
principle of the general system of recognition of qualifications  is that the
host Member  State  cannot  refuse access  to  a  regulated profession  to  a
Community national who is  fully qualified to follow this  same profession in
his or her Member State of origin.

The Commission noted that this  Directive is still not implemented in Greece.
This has very negative  consequences for a number of Community  nationals who
are  experiencing difficulties  exercising their  profession  in Greece.  The
Commission has received numerous complaints on this subject.

The  Commission is  therefore  requesting Greece  to  conform finally  to the
Court ruling, and  so remove the remaining obstacles  to free movement of the
professions. In  the absence of satisfactory  answer to  the reasoned opinion
within two months of  receipt, the Commission could again refer the matter to
the Court.  In this case,  the Commission  could ask  the Court  to impose  a
financial penalty  on Greece  of an  amount calculated  on the  basis of  the
seriousness of  the  infringement, its  duration  and the  need  to ensure  a
dissuasive effect.

Still concerning  Directive  89/48/EEC,  following notification  of  national
transposition measures, the Commission has closed  the infringement procedure
under Article  171 of the  EC Treaty against  Belgium for failure to  conform
with the  ruling of  the Court  of Justice  of  13 July  1995 concerning  the
failure to implement this Directive.

With regard to Directive 92/51/EEC, which set  up a second general system  of
recognition  of  qualifications  corresponding  to  training   periods  of  a
duration  of  less  than  three  years  and therefore  complements  Directive
89/48/EEC, the  Commission has  closed three  infringement procedure  against
the United Kingdom  following the notification of  implementing measures.  It
also  closed   the  infringement  procedures   against  Germany  and   France
concerning  Directive  94/38/EEC,  which  amends  the  annexes  of  regulated
professions covered by Directive 92/51.

Following   the  notification   of  national   transposition  measures,   the
Commission  has  also closed  two infringement  procedures against  Spain for
Directives   89/594/EEC   and   90/658/EEC,   concerning   respectively   the
recognition  of qualifications  of doctors,  nurses,  dentists, midwives  and
veterinary  surgeons  and  the   adaptation  of  certain  Directives  on  the
recognition of doctors  qualifications following German unification.

Citizens' rights - municipal elections

The  Commission  has decided  to  issue  reasoned opinions  against  Finland,
Austria  and  Sweden for  failure  to notify  national implementing  measures
transposing Directives 94/80/EC and 96/30/EC. The Directive, which lays  down
the conditions under which EU nationals residing in another Member  State may
vote and stand  as candidates in municipal elections,  came into force on 1st
January 1996.  In the  case of Finland  implementation has  so far been  only
partial in that the implementation law does  not cover the Aland islands.  As
far as  Austria is concerned, the  Commission is  still awaiting notification
of implementation in the Länder of Steiermark and Voralberg.

Following   the  notification   of  national   transposition  measures,   the
Commission has  closed infringement procedures  against Germany and  Portugal
for the two municipal elections Directives.

Public procurement

The Commission  has decided  to refer  Belgium to  the Court  of Justice  for
having  failed  to fulfil  its obligations  to transpose  Directive 93/38/EEC
concerning procedures  for the award of  public procurement  contracts in the
sectors of  water, of  energy, of  transport and  of telecommunications.  The
Directive aims to ensure open and  competitive procedures are followed in the
award of  works,  supplies  and  service  contracts  in  these  sectors.  The
Directive  stipulates   that  Member   States  must  implement   legislation,
regulations  and  administration  provisions  necessary  to  conform  to  its
provisions before  1 July  1994 and  that  they must  immediately inform  the
Commission of these measures.

Belgium  put into effect on  1 July 1996,  a Royal Decree of  18 June 1996 on
the  award  of  contracts  by  a series  of  contracting  entities  which are
required  to  apply   these  rules.  However,  there  is  still  no  national
legislative  framework  for  some  categories  of  contracting  entities,  in
particular for private and public-sector  companies which are not  covered by
the Royal  Decree of  18 June  1996, but which  are nevertheless  contracting
entities within the scope of Directive 93/38/EEC.

As there was no satisfactory response to the letter of formal  notice and the
reasoned opinion sent to Belgium  by the Commission during the earlier stages
of the  infringement procedure, the Commission  has decided  to refer Belgium
to the Court of Justice for incomplete transposition of the Directive.

Financial services 

The Commission decided  to refer Belgium to  the Court of Justice  for having
failed  to  fulfil  its obligations  to  transpose  Directive  90/232/EEC  on
insurance  against civil liability  in respect of the  use of motor vehicles.
The  Directive aims  to  ensure that  motorists  enjoy civil  liability cover
valid  throughout the  EU  on  the basis  of  paying  a single  premium.  The
transposition deadline expired on 31 December 1992.

Still in the  field of insurance, the  Commission has decided to  close seven
infringement  procedures   against  Greece  following  the   notification  of
national  transposition  measures  for  Directives  88/357/EEC  (2nd Non-Life
Insurance Directive),  90/618/EEC (freedom to  provide motor civil  liability
insurance   services),  90/619   (2nd  Life   Assurance   Directive),  91/371
(Directive implementing of  the non-life  insurance Agreement between  the EC
and  Switzerland),  91/674  (annual accounts  and  consolidated  accounts  of
insurance  companies), 92/49  (3rd Non-Life  Insurance  Directive) and  92/96
(3rd Life Assurance Directive).

The  Commission has  decided  to  send a  reasoned  opinion to  Portugal  for
failure   to  transpose   the  Directive  on   Capital  Adequacy   of  credit
institutions and  investment firms (93/6/EEC).  The Directive, which was  due
to be transposed before  1 July 1995 and enter into  force on 1 January 1996,
lays down measures aiming  to ensure that market risks of credit institutions
and of investment firms  are covered by sufficient capital. At the same time,
following  notification  of  national  transposition  measures  for Directive
93/6, Commission  has closed  infringement procedures  against Greece,  Italy
and the United Kingdom .

Following  the  notification  of  national  transposition  measures  for  the
Investment  Services   Directive  (93/22/EEC),  the   Commission  has  closed
infringement procedures against France, Italy and Finland.

Intellectual property 

The Commission decided to refer Ireland and Portugal to the Court of  Justice
for  failing  to   communicate  national  measures  to   implement  Directive
93/83/EEC on  the coordination  of  certain  rules concerning  copyright  and
related   rights    applicable   to   satellite   broadcasting    and   cable
retransmission. For  the same reason,  the Commission has  decided to send  a
reasoned opinion to Germany. However, following the notification  of national
implementing  measures for  Directive  93/83,  the Commission  has  closed an
infringement   procedure   against   the  Netherlands.   The   deadline   for
implementing the Directive was 1 January 1995.

The Commission  has decided  to refer Portugal  to the  Court of Justice  for
failure  to  transpose Directive  92/100/EEC  on  rental  rights and  lending
rights  and   on  certain  rights  related  to  copyright  in  the  field  of
intellectual  property  (rights  of  performers,  phonogram  producers,  film
producers  and  broadcasters).  Member  States  were  due  to  implement  the
Directive no later than 1 July 1994.

Following  the  notification  of  national   measures  transposing  Directive
93/98/EEC,  the  Commission  has closed  an  infringement  procedure  against
Greece. Directive  93/98/EEC aims to  eliminate disparities between  national
legislation governing the  duration of protection of copyright (70 years from
the death of the author) and  of related rights. The Directive was  due to be
implemented before 1 July 1995.

Elimination of the frontier controls (weapons and works of art) 

Noting that  Austria  and  Finland  have  not  adopted  yet  formal  measures
necessary  for  the  transposition of  Directive  91/477,  which allowed  the
elimination  of  the   frontier  controls  on  persons  for  fire  arms,  the
Commission  has  decided  to  address  them  each  a  reasoned  opinion.  The
Directive fixes  a number of rules  concerning acquisition  and possession of
fire  arms,  requires  intra-Community transfers  of  fire  arms  to  observe
certain procedures and give rise  to exchanges of information  between Member
States and establishes a European fire arms certificate for trips within  the
Community, in particular for hunters and sports marksmen.

The Commission has also  decided to  send a reasoned  opinion to Austria  for
failure to transpose  Directive 93/7/EEC,  concerning the return  of cultural
objects unlawfully  removed  from  the  territory  of  a  Member  State.  The
Directive aims  to  secure the  return  of  national treasures  of  artistic,
historical or  archaeological value  that have  been unlawfully removed  from
the territory of a Member State after the removal  of controls on at internal
borders.

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