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State of play: May 2013

Priority areas


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.

The Commission proposed strengthening its efforts and those of the Member States to improve governance of the Single Market in respect of a number of key legislative acts belonging to these growth-potential areas (as included in the annex of the Communication).

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.



For the time being, 11 out of the 17 directives have been implemented on time by all Member States. The Governance Communication asked Member States to submit draft transposition measures and this has particularly been followed in the services area. However, 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.

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. Energy, which was the area with the largest number of infringement cases (48), remains within the 18 months target set for the duration of proceedings (with cases taking an average of 11.3 months). In contrast, the services sector (with 25 cases) and the Digital Single Market sector (with 2 cases) both exceed this benchmark with an average of 33.1 months and 38.5 months respectively, despite having fewer cases. Compliance with Court of Justice judgements on issues concerning the services sector also takes too long (35.6 months on average, well above the 12 month's benchmark).

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.

The legislative acts adopted in the  priority areas mentioned represent a varied group, ranging from Directives that have been implemented more than ten years ago to legislative proposals which are about to be adopted. As a consequence, it is difficult to obtain a homogeneous report of the transposition assistance provided by the Commission or on the challenges encountered during the implementation stage. More detailed information separated by priority sector can be found herepdf(121 kB) Choose translations of the previous link .








  • The transposition deficit  measures the number of directives which have not been fully transposed yet out of the total number of directives which should have been transposed. A directive is described as a transposed directive if i) the MS has declared it to have been fully transposed AND ii) if the Commission's prima facie examination of the measures notified by the MS (and any other relevant information provided by the MS) indicates that the directive can be considered to have been fully transposed, OR if the Commission has not yet completed its prima facie examinations.
  • The compliance deficit measures the number of directives transposed where infringement proceedings for non-conformity have been initiated, as a percentage of the number of Single Market directives notified as transposed or for which transposition is not considered necessary.
  • 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