Complying with the EU law: infringement package for June

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In its regular package of infringement decisions, the European Commission pursues legal action against EU member states (starting in June) for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. These decisions, covering various sectors and EU policy areas, aim to ensure the proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. 

The key decisions taken by the Commission this June are presented below and grouped by policy area. The Commission is also closing 62 cases in which the issues with the member states concerned have been solved without the Commission needing to pursue the procedure further.
In this package of infringement decisions we choose only those that are dealing with the countries in the Baltic Sea area.

= Justice
a) Letters of formal notice and reasoned opinions
= Sector: Fight against fraud: Commission calls on Finland (together with Bulgaria and Poland) to comply with the rules on the fight against fraud to the Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law. The rules outlined in the Directive protect the EU budget by harmonizing the definitions, sanctions and jurisdiction rules related to fraud and other offences affecting the EU’s financial interests. The Commission has identified several conformity issues regarding the definition of some criminal offences and the related criminal penalties, as well as the liability of legal persons for crimes committed for their benefit. In December 2021, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Finland; after having analysed the reply, the Commission concluded that Finland failed to comply with the obligation to provide for the liability of legal persons in cases of passive corruption and misappropriation. Hence, Finland has two months now to take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings identified by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to refer Finland to the Court of Justice of the EU.
Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/inf_23_2707

b) Reasoned opinions
= European Arrest Warrant: Commission urges Estonia (together with Luxembourg) to comply with the requirements of the Framework Decision. The Commission decided to send reasoned opinions to Estonia (INFR (2020) 2279) for failing to comply with the Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between the states (Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA).
The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is a simplified cross-border judicial procedure to surrender a requested person for the purpose of prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order. Operational since 1 January 2004, the European Arrest Warrant has replaced the lengthy extradition procedures that used to exist among the EU member states.
The Commission has sent letters of formal notice to Estonia in December 2020; following the reply, the Commission concluded that Estonia has not fully transposed the necessary requirements needed in relation to subsequent surrenders for offences committed prior to the initial surrender, as well as the obligation immediately to inform the issuing judicial authority. Estonia has now two months to take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings identified by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to refer Estonia to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

c) Procedural rights: Commission calls on Sweden to comply with the EU rules on interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. The Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Sweden (INFR (2021) 2105) for failing to correctly transpose provisions of the Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings (Directive (EU) 2010/64). The Directive aims to create common minimum standards ensuring that rights of suspects and accused persons are sufficiently protected across the EU. In particular, it guarantees the right for suspects and accused persons in the EU to be provided with interpretation and translation during criminal proceedings, free of charge, into a language they understand. In September 2021, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Sweden. Following Sweden’s reply, the Commission concluded that Swedish legislation does not clearly envisage a right for the suspect or accused person to have interpretation available for their communication with their legal counsel during questioning or hearings, and it merely allows the legal counsel to be reimbursed for the costs of interpretation when such communication occurs outside of the courtroom. Sweden has now two months to take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings identified by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to refer Sweden to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

= Energy
a) Letters of formal notice
Sector: Radiation protection: Commission calls on Lithuania (together with Luxembourg) to correctly transpose the Euratom Basic Safety Standards Directive. The Commission decided to open two infringement procedures by sending letters of formal notice to Lithuania (INFR (2023) 2039) and Luxembourg for failing to correctly transpose the revised Basic Safety Standards Directive (Council Directive 2013/59). The Directive modernises and consolidates EU radiation protection legislation, lays down basic safety standards to protect the public, workers and patients against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation. It also includes emergency preparedness and response provisions that were strengthened following the Fukushima nuclear accident. The Commission found that the measures were not correctly transposing the Directive in those two states. The conformity issues identified by the Commission are different for each EU state and concern specific requirements of the Directive, such as provisions on medical radiological equipment, estimation of population doses, radon (natural radioactive gas) action plan, inspections, non-medical imaging exposures, estimation of external and internal exposure, dose constraints and the provision of information on high activity sealed sources. These two states now have two months to reply and address the shortcomings identified by the Commission; otherwise, the Commission may decide to send them a reasoned opinion.

b) Reasoned opinion
Sector: Renewable energy: Commission urges Lithuania to fully transpose the Renewable Energy Directive. The Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Lithuania (INFR (2021) 0277) for not having fully transposed EU rules on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources set out in Directive (EU) 2018/2001. This Directive provides the legal framework for the development of renewable energy in electricity, heating and cooling, and transport in the EU. It sets an EU-level binding target for 2030 of at least 32% renewable energy and includes measures to ensure support for renewable energy to be cost-effective, and to simplify administrative procedures for renewable energy projects. It also facilitates the participation of citizens in the energy transition and sets specific targets to increase the share of renewables in the heating and cooling and transport sectors by 2030. The deadline to transpose the Directive into national law was 30 June 2021.
In July 2021, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Lithuania; presently, the state has only partially transposed the Directive. Lithuania now has two months to rectify the situation and notify the Commission of its complete transposition; otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

For more detail on all decisions taken, consult the infringement decisions’ register in: https://ec.europa.eu/atwork/applying-eu-law/infringements-proceedings/infringement_decisions/screen/home?lang_code=en

 

 

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