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Press release
 

MEPs call on better use of Community law infringement procedures against Member States

Institutions - 21-02-2008 - 13:54
Plenary sessions
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More resources, a better use of the infringement procedure and increased involvement of Parliament's committees are main proposals put forward by the European Parliament in its report on the monitoring the application of Community law. The report by Monica Frassoni (Greens/EFA - IT), evaluates the Commission's report on monitoring of the application of Community law in 2005 and its communication on "A Europe of results - Applying Community law", recently adopted.

The report by Monica Frassoni (Greens/EFA - IT), evaluates the Commission's report on monitoring of the application of Community law in 2005 and its communication on "A Europe of results - Applying Community law", recently adopted.
 
The 2005 Annual report
 
MEPs noted that the accession of the 10 new Member States had no impact on the number of infringements of Community law, as it may have been the case. Therefore, Parliament asks the Commission to provide reassurance that this is not due to a lack of registration of the complaints or of internal resources or "to a political decision to be more indulgent towards those Member States"
 
As far as human resources are concerned, Parliament backed the call by the Commission Directorates-General for an increase of the budget in this field. MEPs also supported the practice of sharing of best practices between Member States. Finally, fact-finding missions to various Member States should also be encouraged, according to the approved text.
 
Communication on "A Europe of results – Applying Community law"
 
The adopted resolution also analyses the communication on "A Europe of Results", adopted by the Commission in 2007. In fact, the communication includes the proper application of Community law to ensure full realisation of Treaties' objectives as one of its priority objectives.
 
According to MEPs, the main obstacle to the effectiveness of the infringement procedure (articles 226 and 228 of the EC Treaty), designed to oblige Member States to implement EU law properly, is its length and the limited use of Article 228.
 
According to article 228, the Commission has power to act against a Member State that does not comply with a judgement of the European Court of Justice, by issuing a series of written warnings. The article then allows the Commission to ask the Court to impose a financial penalty on the concerned Member State.
 
Therefore, the Parliament called on the Commission to be more firm in applying this procedure so to ensure that judgments of the Court of Justice are properly implemented.
 
The role of the European Parliament and national parliaments
 
MEPs propose to involve more Parliament’s committees in monitoring the application of Community law. Therefore, they suggested that, wherever possible, Parliament’s rapporteurs for a particular file should play a continuing role in the ongoing review of Member States' compliance with Community law.
 
Finally, Members called for increased cooperation between national parliaments and the European Parliament to promote effective scrutiny of European matters at national level.
 
REF.: 20080219IPR21737