The timely and correct implementation of EU law by the Member States ensures that the results intended by EU policy are attained. Late or incorrect implementation can deprive businesses and citizens of their rights. The Commission monitors the transposition of directives as well as respect of EU law more generally (regulations, decisions and EC Treaty rules). It examines complaints of breaches of EU law, initiates infringement procedures when necessary and reports on these tasks.
Much of European law takes the form of directives which set out general rules and objectives but leave Member States the choice as to how to attain them. Primary responsibility for applying EU law lies with the national administrations in the Member States.
From the Better Regulation point of view, the transposition of directives is of special interest. The transposition into national law is done by national governments and parliaments sometimes involving regional and local authorities. At this stage, laws risk being 'gold plated' i.e. requirements or procedures which are not required by the initial directive are added. This affects both transposition and implementation of EU law as well as the quality of national and regional regulation.
Monitoring of the transposition process relies on the correlation tables provided by the Member States, showing the link between the provisions in directives and national rules. The Commission increasingly includes in its proposals for directives the requirement of the Member States to provide these tables. The Commission relies on close cooperation with the Member States to achieve Better Regulation goals in this domain.
Complaints remain an important means of detecting infringements of EU law. Businesses and citizens wishing to alert the Commission on measures or practices in the Member States which they consider incompatible with the EU rules can do so using a Commission website on Europa. The same website provides information on the infringement proceedings.
Less formal means are also available to problem-solving for business and citizens. One of them is Solvit, an on-line problem-solving network in which Member States work together to resolve - without legal proceedings - problems caused by the misapplication of internal market law by public authorities. Solvit can resolve problems in the harmonised area of the internal market, where common EU legislation exists.
The Commission reports regularly on the application of the EU law. In addition to annual reports, the Commission publishes regular information on transposition of directives and progress in notification of national measures implementing them. These data are available on a Commission website on Europa.
better regulation principles should be applied when EU law is being
transposed and implemented by the Member States.