We are responsible for ensuring that EU States apply EU Home Affairs law correctly. We take action when we detect that an EU State does not comply with our law or when we have received a complaint. As a first step, we contact the EU State in question in order to bring about compliance. If this fails, we launch an infringement procedure. Data on EU Home Affairs infringement cases are available since December 2004.
Where it detects a failure to comply with EU law, the Commission may initiate the procedure for failure to fulfil an obligation provided for in Article 258 [5 KB] of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union - TFEU (ex Article 226 of the Treaty establishing the European Community - TEC). The European Commission's Home Affairs Directorate General performs this task in its sphere of competence, in particular as regards Articles 77, 78, 79 and 87 of the TFEU and secondary legislation on migration, asylum, police cooperation and return policy.
In the first stage of the procedure, the Commission sends the EU State a letter of formal notice inviting it to submit its observations within two months. Where the observations submitted by the EU State fail to persuade the Commission to change its point of view or where the EU State fails to respond to the request, the Commission may issue a reasoned opinion, allowing the EU State an additional two-month period within which to comply.
If the EU State fails to conform to EU law, the Commission can take the case to the Court of Justice, whose judgment is binding.
If the EU State fails to comply with Court's judgment, the Commission may, after sending a further letter of formal notice, bring the matter before the Court of Justice a second time, seeking the imposition of a penalty payment under Article 260 [7 KB] of the TFEU (ex Article 228 of the TEC).
The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union allows the Commission to seek imposition of a penalty payment already at the stage of the first referral to the Court in specific cases where the EU State concerned has failed to fulfil its obligation to notify measures transposing a directive.
Each year, the Commission publishes a report on the application of EU law, which is designed to give the public access to information on ongoing legal proceedings. In addition, on the website of the Court of Justice of the European Union one has access to judgments delivered by the Court. All judgments may also be consulted via EUR-Lex. Overall view of the implementation of directives and the Commission infringement proceedings is given on the Secretariat-General website.