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State of play: May 2014

Priority areas


It has been two years now since, on 8 June 2012, the Commission adopted the Communication on "Better Governance for the Single Market"pdf Choose translations of the previous link . This communication stated which actions both the Member States and the Commission must undertake in order to make swift progress in several priority areas which have the most growth potential.

The areas identified are:

  • Services,
  • Financial (intermediation) services,
  • Transport, 
  • the Digital Single Market and
  • Energy.

In these key areas, the Governance Communication identified 23 legislative acts (nineteen directives, three regulations and one decision) which had been already adopted, together with further 26 legislative proposals aiming at adopting new regulations or directives or amending existing ones.

As of 1 May 2014, 16 of these 26 legislative proposals have been already adopted. In the case of directives, they now need to be transposed by the Member States in the due deadline.

As soon as this entire specific corpus is adopted and effectively implemented, the Commission and the Member States will be able to assess whether the call by the Governance Communication for an enhanced effort to boost growth has brought effective results.



The Governance Communication requested enhanced efforts and commitments from both the Member States’ and the Commission’s side to bring these key sectors to a source of growth.

As regards implementation of the identified legislative acts, in particular, Member States were asked to commit to:

  • meeting transposition deadlines and transposing legislation correctly (0 % transposition and conformity deficit);
  • informally submitting specific issues relating to draft transposition measures to the Commission and provide on-line explanations of how this transposition has been carried out, including information on how these rules operate in practice, once adopted;
  • undertaking all possible efforts to ensure swift compliance, thereby reducing the duration of infringement procedures to a political target of 18 months on average and the time for full compliance with Court of Justice judgments to a political target of 12 months on average.

As of 11 May 2014, 14 out of the 19 directives for which the transposition deadline has passed have been implemented by all Member States. In particular, Directive 2013/36/EUpdf (access to the activity of credit institutions and prudential supervision of credit institutions and investment firms) and Directive 2011/83/EUpdf (consumer rights), which were due for 31 December 2013, still have to be transposed by 18 and 10 Member States, respectively.

While Member States seem to follow the Governance Communication’s request to submit draft transposition measures, two years after the adoption of the Governance Communication, the Commission services have not witnessed any increase in activity by the Member States as regards the provision of on-line explanations of the adopted transposition measures. Member States are reminded that providing an on-line explanation of how they have transposed rules and how these rules work in practice is vital to allow businesses and citizens to make use of their new rights.

Finally, the performance of Member States in remaining within the agreed benchmarks on the duration of infringement procedures has differed depending on the priority area concerned:

  • As regards the number of pending infringements for incorrect transposition, the transport sector heads with 20 cases.
  • As regards the average duration of pending infringement cases, the services sector, with 23.5 months, does not respect the 18 months target set for the duration of proceedings. Nevertheless, this represents a remarkable improvement as compared with October 2013 (29.4 months). Even more remarkable is the improvement noticed in the digital single market sector, where the average duration of proceedings has fallen from 44.3 months in October 2013 to only 8.2 months now.
  • Finally, as regards compliance with Court of Justice judgments, only in the transport sector ten Member States have to comply with a condemning ruling. However, the average duration is, with 12 months, in line with the exhorted target.

The Commission will continue to measure Member States’ compliance with these commitments, while at the same time monitoring the implementation and fine-tuning of its own commitments.



Services (4 directives)


Financial services (2 directives)


Transport (7 directives)


Digital IM (2 directives)


Energy (4 directives)




[1]    Are considered as “not fully transposed yet” (1) directives for which no transposition measures have been communicated (2) directives considered as partially communicated by Member States after notifying some transposition measures (3) directives considered as completely transposed by Member States but in respect of which the Commission has opened a formal infringement procedure for non-communication and the Member State has not notified new transposition measures after the latest procedural step has been adopted by the Commission.

[2]    A directive counts as incorrectly transposed if an infringement procedure for non-conformity has been opened formally by the Commission.

[3] and [4] The pending cases duration is calculated from the date on which the Commission sends a letter of formal notice to the completion of the pre-litigation phase.