Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Report on application of EU law

The European Commission has been urged to take tougher action against EU governments that fail to properly implement EU laws.

Debating the annual report by the Legal Affairs Committee on the application of EU law, the report's author Eva Lichtenberger said there was "cause for concern" over poor application and monitoring of EU legislation.

Speaking during the debate on 20 November 2012, she said that if citizens complained about how a particular government had implemented EU legislation, they had every right to have their concerns properly dealt with.

The report urges the European Commission make better use of so-called infringement proceedings, by which national governments are penalised or sanctioned for non-application or poor application of EU law.

It finds in particular that there has been high levels of non-application of various aspects of EU environmental legislation.

Administration Commissioner Maros Sefcovic insisted that the Commission was taking appropriate action.

He said that when government missed the so-called transposition deadline - the date by which an EU legislation should be incorporated into national law - the Commission would invoke financial penalties and sanctions.

He added that in cases of poor or mis-application of EU law, the Commission was ready to work with member states, but that if no solution was found "we will vigorously use all legal instruments at our disposal".

The report, which was formally approved during the daily voting session on 20 November 2012, also urges better co-ordination of judicial training for national judges, legal professionals and civil servants.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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