Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Do as I say...

The six original members of the EEC - and the EU's most vocal advocates of greater integration - have the worst performance in transposing EU law in their domestic law books.

Of those, France and Italy together accounted for 30 percent of all infringement cases filed for failure to transpose. Italy has almost 150 pending cases, more than Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg and Portugal combined.

Among the older 15 member states, only Ireland, Britain, Denmark, Spain, and Finland met target figures. There are differences amongst the accession states as well. Lithuania has only 12 directives left to transpose, while Malta has more than 600.

Internal Market Commission Frits Bolkestein, at his tactful best, would merely say, "Some are consistently worse than others and need more political commitment to meeting legal obligations. Everyone loses if some do not play by the rules."

One wonders if he has considered the possibility that those who do not play by the rules actually gain - which is perhaps why they have not transposed the EU laws in the first place.

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