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Europe

EU Law Implementation Stalling at National Level

Member states are still failing to implement EU rules designed to regulate the internal market.

The latest scoreboard shows Malta is the worst offender with 617 directives still waiting to be written into national law. The Czech Republic, Latvia and Cyprus are also lagging behind with 360, 290 and 276 directives pending. At the other end of the scale, Lithuania has only 12 directives on its waiting list while Poland and Slovenia weigh in with less than 100, 60 and 87 directives respectively. According to the Commission, the delays have affected the EU's progress towards becoming a fully functioning single market and the internal market index shows that progress has slowed since 2000. The so-called 'transposition deficit' - the average percentage, per member state, of internal market directives that have not been written into national law - is now 2.2 per cent for the EU 15 member states. This has barely changed from January 2004. France has the worst record of the EU 15 member states with 62 directives pending followed by Greece, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries with more than 30 directives each. The Commission said 134 or 9 percent of internal market directives have not been transposed into EU 15 national law on time. In some cases, this is more than two years overdue. Meanwhile, infringement cases also remained at the same level they were a year ago, with Italy facing the most cases for applying the rules incorrectly, closely followed by France and Spain, each with more than 100 cases. Britain stands at the other end of the scale with just 24 cases. (EUobserver.com)

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