Today, the European Commission has decided to refer Belgium to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to transpose the Directive on intra-corporate transfers of staff from outside the EU. The Directive seeks to facilitate the temporary secondment of highly-skilled employees (managers, specialists and trainee employees) of multinational companies to subsidiaries situated in the EU. In May 2014, Member States agreed to transpose the Directive into national law by 29 November 2016.
The Commission opened infringement proceedings against Belgium in January 2017. In light of Belgium's failure to transpose the Directive into national law, in October 2017, a reasoned opinion was sent. Belgium has still not yet notified the Commission of the adoption of all measures necessary in order to transpose the Directive, and so today, the Commission has decided to refer Belgium to the Court of Justice of the EU.
The Commission is calling on the Court of Justice of the EU to impose financial sanctions against Belgium in the form of a lump sum of € 4,088.25 per day between the day after the deadline for transposition set out by the Directive expired and either compliance by Belgium or the date of delivery of the judgment under Article 260(3), with a minimum lump sum of € 2,029,000.00, and a daily penalty payment of € 36,794.25 from the day of the first judgment until full compliance is reached or until the second Court judgment.
The Commission has been closely monitoring progress made by Member States regarding the implementation of the Directive on intra-corporate transfers of staff from outside the EU (Directive 2014/66/EU) into their national legislation. Overall, 17 Member States have received a letter of formal notice for failing to fully transpose the Directive by the prescribed deadline. To date, 16 of those infringements have been closed.
In practice, under Article 260(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), if a Member State fails to transpose a Directive adopted by the EU into national law within the required deadline, the Commission may call on the Court of Justice of the EU to impose financial sanctions. They take into account:
- the seriousness of the infringement;
- the duration of the infringement;
- special "n" factor (which varies between Member States and takes into account their Gross domestic product, GDP, in millions of euros and number of seats of the Member State concerned in the European Parliament).
The financial sanctions proposed by the Commission consist of a lump sum payment (to penalise the existence of the infringement itself), and a daily penalty payment (to penalise the continuation of the infringement after the Court's judgment).
For More Information
- Directive 2014/66/EU on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer
- On the key decisions in the July 2019 infringements package, see a full MEMO: INF/19/4251.
- On the general infringements procedures, see MEMO/12/12.
- On the EU infringement procedure.