The European Commission has announced it has sent letters of formal notice to 25 of the EU’s 27 member states, including Cyprus, due to the absence of communication by Member States of measures taken to transpose EU directives into national law.
However in one of the three infringement procedures that began on Friday, the only recipients are Cyprus and Slovakia. The infringement concerns legislation on the conditions for examination of certain varieties of agricultural plants and vegetables.
The measures are related to four EU directives in the fields of taxation and customs union, justice and public health. 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, which is the last step before the Commission can choose to take the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.
The European Commission publicises infringement procedures related to the absence of communication by Member States of measures taken to transpose EU directives into national law, to differentiate these from infringement procedures related to the infringement of EU law.
EU plant legislation
The first procedure concerns Directive (EU) 2022/905 which was approved in June 2022 and amends the conditions for examination and the characteristics to be covered by such examination in relation to certain varieties of agricultural plants and vegetables.
Member States had to adopt and publish national measures necessary to comply with this Directive by 31 December 2022. Cyprus and Slovakia have not transposed the Directive into national law by the set deadline and will therefore be receiving a letter of formal notice.
Tackling tax evasion
The second procedure concerns the absence of communication on the transposition of the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (Directive (EU) 2021/514 – DAC7) which was adopted by the Council in March 2021 and sets out new rules for administrative cooperation between tax authorities in the context of use of digital platforms by taxpayers.
Under DAC7, digital platforms such as websites and mobile apps, which allow taxpayers to sell goods, offer online and offline personal services, or rent out immovable property or means of transport, have to report those taxpayers and their economic activities. This information will help tax authorities in the Member States of those particular taxpayers to prevent tax evasion or misreporting through the use of digital platforms.
All Member States had to transpose the Directive into their national legislation and inform the Commission thereof by 31 December 2022. The following Member States have not notified or only partially notified the national measures transposing DAC7 and are receiving today a letter of formal notice: Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia.
The third procedure is related to the protection of the collective interests of consumers though the mechanism of representative actions (Representative Actions Directive (EU) 2020/1828).
This directive will empower qualified entities to launch representative actions on behalf of consumers and introduce stronger sanctioning powers for Member States' consumer authorities. This representative action will enable a qualified entity, such as a consumer organisation, to seek redress, such as compensation, replacement or repair, for a group of consumers who have been harmed by an illegal commercial practice.
Since the Directive entered into force in December 2020, Member States had two years to transpose it into their national law and to inform the Commission. Unfortunately, while there is work ongoing in most Member States on adopting the laws, a large number of Member States failed to notify national measures fully transposing the Directive by the deadline set for 25 December 2022 and will therefore be receiving letters of formal notice: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.