Commission sanctions Belgium for late transposition of EU directives

Commission sanctions Belgium for late transposition of EU directives |

The European Commission sent letters of formal notice to Belgium for failing to transpose various environmental and transport directives into national law on time.

The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to 15 member states, including Belgium, for not having notified yet full transposition of measures for 14 EU directives in the fields of environment and transport.

“The Commission is adopting a package of infringement decisions due to the absence of communication by Member States of measures taken to transpose EU directives into national law,” the Commission said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The first set of directives pointed out deals to restrict the introduction of electronic devices which contain mercury on the market. Another directive concerns broadening the scope of vehicle categories subject to roadside inspections. The last demand brings up to date the requirements for the periodic technical inspection of vehicles.

Member states were to communicate the national measures they had taken to transpose all these directives by the end of September, which Belgium failed to do.

The letters of formal notice constitute the first step of the infringement procedures.

“Member States concerned now have two months to reply to the letters of formal notice and complete their transposition, or the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion,” the Commission added.

After an EU directive is adopted, it must be transposed by each member state into its national law within a specific timeframe. If an order is not transposed correctly or on time, or if EU law is applied incorrectly or incompletely, the Commission can initiate infringement proceedings, which can eventually lead to a condemnation by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Late transposition of a directive or non-compliance with a ruling can result in considerable financial penalties.

In Belgium, each level of government is responsible for the transposition of EU directives and the management of possible infringement procedures in its area of competence.

But this is not the first time Belgium has been singled out for failing to transpose EU law. In September, the Commission also took measures against Belgium for not transposing the directive on transparent and predictable working conditions in the EU and the directive on work-life balance for parents and carers.

(Arthur Riffaud, Anne-Sophie Gayet |


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