27th Annual Report on Monitoring the Application of EU Law (2009)

Jaanika Erne |

On 1st of October 2010, the Commission has given the COM(2010) 538 final with its Report Monitoring the Application of EU Law (2009). What does the Report say?

Basing on COM(2007)502 Communication from the Commission – A Europe of Results – Applying Community Law, and the modified by the TEU and the TFEU competences of the EU and monitoring and enforcement functions for the Commission so that EU law now stands as: Article 4 TEU maintains the primary obligation of Member States to ensure the correct application of EU law; Article 17 TEU maintains the responsibility of the Commission to ensure the application of EU law;

of Articles 258 and 260 TFEU concerning the authority of the Commission to bring infringement proceedings, Article 260 TFEU contains two new elements:

  • the Commission may ask the CJEU to impose financial sanctions on a Member State for late transposition of a directive adopted under a legislative procedure when bringing a case before the CJEU under Article 258 TFEU; and
  • the Commission has only to give the Member State the opportunity to make any observations before making a second referral to the CJEU under Article 260(2) TFEU, following a first ruling under Article 258 TFEU.

The Report indicates that at the end of 2009, ca 77 % of complaints in the infringement proceedings were closed before the first formal step in an infringement proceeding; ca 12 % of the total were closed before the reasoned opinion and ca 7 % before a ruling from the CJEU.

By the end of 2009, the Commission was handling around 2900 complaints and infringement files. The average time taken to process infringements, from opening the file to sending the application to the CJEU under Article 258 TFEU, fell from around 27 to 24 months. The average time for processing cases concerning failure to notify Member State measures transposing directives remained around 15 months. In 2009, 2 second referrals were made to the Court under Article 260.

Areas of infringements under revision: transposition deficit – late transposition of directives about medical devices (22 new cases), working conditions in inter-operable cross border railways (17), amended rules on deposit guarantee schemes (17) and the groundwater directive (17), technical updating of directives in the area of enterprise.

24 Member States received letters of formal notice for late or inadequate communication of reports in the priority area of greenhouse gas emissions.

The CJEU delivered judgments in seven cases on the 2005 directive on the recognition of professional qualifications.

In the field of company law, corporate governance and anti-money laundering, ca 140 infringement proceedings for late transposition were initiated, of which 11 reached the CJEU’s ruling. Four cases reached CJEU’s rulings on Directive 2004/83 on the refugee status of third country nationals or stateless persons. In the area of civil justice, Greece was referred to the CJEU a second time with a request for the imposition of financial sanctions for being over three years late with the transposition of Directive 2004/80 on compensation to crime victims.

During 2009, contact networks for directive transposition and web-based question-and-answer tools were continued to be created, for example, the web tool created for the payment services Directive 2007/64, later extended to the e-money Directive 2009/110 that contains information on the directive itself and on the progress of transposition, including use of options. In the field of unfair commercial practices, a public database including texts of national laws, European and national case-law was created. The Commission continues supporting the need for correlation tables in discussion with Member States and the other Institutions. The Commission continued to develop the work of managing EU law with Member States through expert groups.


-By the end of 2009, EU law comprised, apart from the rules of the Treaty, about 6140 regulations and ca 1820 directives in force throughout the 27 Member States.

The areas of new petitions: environmental protection (173), from those impact assessment (52), nature (50), waste water (26), water quality management and resource protection (17), air quality and noise (13), industrial emissions (6); internal market (82), from those recognition of professional qualifications (28), services (19), company law (10), public procurement (8), financial institutions (17); fundamental rights (43), free movement of persons (36), citizenship and electoral rights (12); justice, freedom and security, road safety, including recognition of driving licenses and road traffic laws (30); co-financing of projects under regional policy (18); information society (9) + many varied mattes, such as the waste situation in Campania in Italy, waste management in Greece and Spain; complex aspects of individual situations of recognition of professional qualifications; restrictions on the activities of pharmacies and gambling and sports; credit institutions, securities, free movement of capital and payments; the infringement proceeding before the CJEU concerning the urban law in Valencia.

Further reading: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0538:FIN:EN:PDF

I must thank Grahnlaw for having given me the idea of this posting!