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Challenges in the implementation of EU law at national level

Smith, Melanie ORCID: 2018. Challenges in the implementation of EU law at national level. [Technical Report]. Brussels: European Parliament. Available at:

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KEY FINDINGS The better regulation package has important consequences for the Commission’s enforcement policy: more emphasis on compliance-based mechanisms and a strategic use of legal sanctions; the phasing out of EU Pilot; and greater use of financial sanctions for Article 260(3). New data analytics tools should also increase effectiveness of transposition tracking in future, examining correctness as well as timeliness of transposition, which is crucial to effective implementation of EU law. 2017 and 2018 infringement data, from complaints to financial sanctions, remains broadly in line with the previous five years. The main sectors that resist efforts to solve infractions once an infringement case has been launched are environment, transport / mobility and financial stability. The top sectors referred to Court in 2017 are environment, internal market, justice and transport. Italy, Hungary and Poland had the most cases referred to Court in 2017. In 2018 (to date) environment, energy and transport were the top sectors referred to Court with Italy, Hungary and Spain having the most cases against them. Research on the role of national parliaments in improving implementation remains partial and contested. National parliaments experience implementation problems when the nature of the EU law is complex; when it is in an area of high national political sensitivity and thus political contestation; is a significant departure from existing law within the state; and where parliaments lack sophisticated and well organised administrative structures for EU law scrutiny. Gold-plating of EU measures may significantly hinder the implementation of EU law and national parliaments should strive to avoid this practice. More positively, production of clear and detailed correlation tables alongside early engagement with legislative proposals may positively aid implementation of EU law. Inter-ministerial coordination problems, national (conflict) culture and learning are issues that only national parliaments can resolve for themselves. In order to assist Member States with implementation, the Commission has invested in national judicial training, improving administrative capacity within Member States, and routinely developing implementation plans to assist national administrations in identifying potential barriers to implementation. Reducing complexity of EU law in order to achieve effective implementation is a key objective of better regulation and the European Parliament, as co- legislator, can assist in this task. As the institution responsible for holding the Commission accountable in the execution of its guardian function, the European Parliament should widen its focus from infringement data to include assessment of the new compliance based mechanisms of enforcement. It must ensure the Commission has a transparent and evidence-based approach to utilising these mechanisms, and provides Parliament with an assessment of the contribution such mechanisms make to ensuring effective implementation of EU law

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: European Parliament
ISBN: 978-92-846-4314-1
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 January 2019
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 08:34

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