EU Pilot is an informal dialogue between the Commission and the Member State concerned on issues related to potential non-compliance with EU law, prior to launching a formal infringement procedure. EU Pilot involves the use of an online database and communication tool through which the Commission and the national governments share information on the details of particular cases.
EU Pilot does not cover only Single Market legislation. At the same time, some Single Market instruments and sectors are covered by comparable systems already established before the introduction of EU Pilot.
The Commission may need to gather information – on its own initiative or in response to a complaint - about whether compliance with EU law is ensured.
Using EU Pilot, it sends a query to the national government concerned, which has, as a general rule, 10 weeks to reply.
The Commission then has, as a general rule, 10 weeks to assess the response.
If the response is unsatisfactory, the Commission may start infringement proceedings.
The single indicator – the average time taken by each country to respond to the Commission's query – has a benchmark figure of 70 days.
(based on one single indicator)
Facts and Figures
State of play in 2017:
Cases opened: 178
Cases processed: 512
Cases still open at end of 2017*: 841
* including backlog from previous years
Infringement proceedings opened in 2017 following closure of EU Pilot cases: 60
Countries with the highest number of new EU Pilot cases in 2017:
Spain and Greece: 35
Main policy areas of the 178 EU Pilot investigations started in 2017:
Environment: 35% – Waste management, air quality & noise, nature protection, water protection and management, impact assessments, chemicals.
Energy: 19% – Energy efficiency.
Climate action 13% – Aviation and maritime, fluorinated gases.
Taxation and customs: 10% – Indirect taxation – VAT/excise duties/car taxation, direct taxation, customs
These policy areas together represent 77% of all new EU Pilot cases.