Still a lot to do for effective internal market enforcement

The Internal Market Scoreboard presented by the European Commission on 23 September shows, among other things, that although the average transposition level of internal market rules in Member States is close to the 1% objective, the positive trend of recent years has stalled . For the first time, this Scoreboard also includes an enforcement table which provides an overview of Member state's compliance with internal market rules.

The Internal Market Scoreboard shows that although many Member States are doing well, some have to make more progress. Internal Market and Services Commissioner, Michel Barnier, reminded that in order to fully reap the benefits of the Internal Market, it's essential that European rules aimed at making the Internal Market work are implemented in Member States, in time and properly.

For that purpose, the scoreboard is useful in giving an accurate and complete picture of the situation on the ground. It shows that the EU average transposition deficit of the 27 Member States, i.e. the percentage of Internal Market Directives that have not been implemented into national law in time, is up 0.2% and stands at 0.9%. Compared to 6 months ago, the EU average transposition delay improved by 2 months. Today, it takes on average an extra 7 months to transpose EU directives after the transposition deadline expires.

21 Member States managed to reduce their average transposition delays, and although the biggest improvements were in Spain, Italy and Slovakia, they still remain above the 1% objective.

Regarding infringement proceedings relating to the Internal Market, the overall number decreased by 2.1% compared to 6 months ago. "Taxation and custom union" and "environment" remain the biggest areas of infringements, and today, Belgium accounts for most of the infringement proceedings, followed by Greece.

Internal Market Enforcement Table

The scoreboard features for the first time an enforcement table. It provides an overview of Member States' compliance with the implementation and application of Internal Market law. For the rules to be effective, timely transposition is not enough. Indeed, what matters is that they are transposed correctly and properly applied.

The table shows that overall Malta, Latvia and Slovenia are the best performing Member States.  However, in the vast majority of Member States, there is at least one area where more attention is needed, such as the number of directives not correctly transposed.

Recognition of professional qualifications, still difficult in internal market

Transposition of the Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC) in Member States has been a challenge as around 1200 national implementation measures have been notified to the Commission, while some Member States have been late, in particular Austria, Luxembourg and Greece.

It seems that in 30% of cases reported to the Commission, citizens' applications for recognition of their qualifications were initially rejected or citizens were required to undergo additional tests or had to pursue their requests via appeals. The scoreboard shows a wide variation between Member States, and points out that the Internal Market Information System (IMI) is being widely used for administrative cooperation relating to the Professional Qualifications Directive.