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Reporting period: 01/2013 - 12/2013

EU Pilot


The "EU Pilot" project was introduced by the Commission with a number of volunteer Member States in 2008.  "EU Pilot" is an online platform which Member States and Commission's services use to communicate and clarify the factual and legal background of problems arising in relation to the conformity of national law with EU law or the correct application of EU law. As a general rule, EU Pilot is used as a first step to try to resolve problems, so that, if possible, formal infringement proceedings are avoided. Currently all 28 Member States are participating in EU Pilot.



Further to an enquiry or a complaint (by citizens, businesses and organisations), or on their own initiative, the Commission's services might need to gather additional factual or legal information for a full understanding of an issue concerning the correct application of EU law or the conformity of the national law with EU law. In such cases, the Commission's services submit a query to the Member State concerned via EU Pilot. Member States normally have 10 weeks to respond and the Commission's services, in turn, also have 10 weeks to assess the response (if the response is not satisfactory, the Commission will normally launch infringement proceedings by sending a letter of formal notice to the Member State concerned).

The final goal of the system is to allow Member States to remedy potential EU law infringements by complying voluntarily with EU Law.

The project was initiated in 2008 with the participation of 15 Member States; by July 2013 the entire EU-28 had signed up.


Performance per indicator



Unlike the other governance tools, EU Pilot has only one indicator, therefore, the overall performance map reflects this single indicator only. Clicking on the map, will take you to the relevant country sheet.


Overall performance




For the average response time of the Member States a benchmark of 70 days has been set.

To give an objective overview of the Member States' performance, the traffic light colors "red", "yellow" and "green" have been attributed according to the following rules:

  • Countries with an average response time of 71 to 77 days were rated as "close to benchmark" (yellow).
  • Countries with an average response time of 70 days or less were rated as "respecting benchmark" (green).
  • Countries with an average response time of 78 days or more were rated as "beyond benchmark" (red).


Average response time of Member States




  • Full EU-28 participation in EU Pilot (Croatia joined in July 2013).
  • Member States welcome this tool that guides them to early compliance and avoidance of infringement proceedings. This is proven by the growing success rate of the system: 70 % in 2013 versus 68 % in 2012 (the success rate is the percentage of files closed further to satisfactory responses by Member States out of the total number of files processed.


Facts and Figures

The figures provided in this section concern all the domains of Union Law, not only those related to the function of the internal market within the meaning of Article 26(2) TFEU.

The Commission opened 1 502 new EU Pilot files between January and December 2013.

In principle, EU Pilot covers the entire acquis: Member States and the Commission may discuss any potential problem involving the application of EU law, including the Single Market legislation. EU Pilot is not used in specific areas where similar mechanisms had already been installed before the introduction of EU Pilot.

Following the receipt of Member States' responses, the Commission processed 1 330 EU Pilot files during the above period and 945 files were closed because the Member State provided a satisfactory response. In the remaining cases (385 files), the Commission initiated formal infringement procedures by sending a letter of formal notice under Article 258 TFEU. On 31 December 2013, 1 498 files were still pending.

This represents a 71 % average success rate for the EU-28.

The three Member States that received the highest number of EU Pilot submissions during the reference period were Italy (147), Spain (107) and UK (89) mainly concerning environmental issues, such as protection of nature, violation of environmental Impact assessment obligations and waste.

Out of the 1 502 investigations launched in EU Pilot between January and December 2013, 26 % concerned environmental issues (more precisely nature protection, waste and violation of environmental impact assessment obligations), 14 % concerned justice, fundamental rights and citizenship (anti-discrimination and gender equality, judicial co-operation in criminal matters, consumer and marketing law) 13 % related to mobility and transport (air transport, road safety, railway transport & road transport), 8 % related internal market & services (public procurement, regulated professions (qualifications) and freedom to provide services, as well as freedom of establishment) and 7 % concerned taxation and customs union (customs, direct taxation and indirect taxation).

These policy areas represent altogether 68 % of the total number of EU pilot files.

EU Pilot investigations