01/2019 – 12/2019
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EU Pilot is a mechanism for informal dialogue between the Commission and the Member State concerned on issues relating to potential non compliance with EU law. It is used before a formal infringement procedure.
Find out more about EU Pilot.
EU Pilot and the Single Market – why does it matter?
EU Pilot is used in appropriate cases to address potential breaches of EU law. It may lead to an issue being resolved at an informal stage or, if unsuccessful, to a formal infringement procedure. Information on EU Pilot complements data on infringements as regards investigations launched by the Commission into potential non compliance with EU law.
- In 2019, more cases were opened than in 2018 and energy was the policy area with the highest number of new cases (24 % of the total).
- The average response time improved further (down to 69 days, from 76 in 2018). Also, the resolution rate returned to the 2017 level (77 %), i.e. the highest in the last 5 years.
- Fewer cases were processed than in 2018 and fewer cases were still open at the end of the year. More cases led to infringement procedures (42, against 37 in 2018).
- Further improve the effectiveness, efficiency and speed of EU Pilot, in line with the Commission’s enforcement policy.
Facts and Figures
The following information are not used to measure performance but it provides useful background.
2019 in figures
- cases opened: 190
- cases processed: 244
cases still open at the end of year*: 499
* including backlog from previous years
Infringement proceedings opened following the closure of EU Pilot cases: 42
Member States with the highest number of new EU Pilot cases:
- Italy: 18
- France: 14
- Austria, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain: 9
Main policy areas of the 190 new cases:
- energy: (46 cases) — energy efficiency / internal market for electricity and natural gas / hydrocarbons / renewable energy;
- maritime affairs and fisheries: (35 cases) — engine power verification system / mitigation measures for cetacean bycatches / audit on external fleet / other
- migration and home affairs: (32 cases) — cybercrime / legal pathways and integration / information systems for borders, migration and security; and
- environment (22 cases) — waste management / nature protection / impact assessment / other.
These policy areas account for 71 % of all new EU Pilot cases.
Note: In line with the Communication “EU law: Better results through better application” (C/2016/8600), the Commission launches infringement procedures without relying on the EU Pilot mechanism, unless recourse to EU Pilot is seen as useful in a given case.
Acting on its own initiative or in response to a complaint, the Commission may need to gather information as to whether EU law is being complied with.
The Commission and Member States can share information on particular cases using the EU Pilot online database and communication tool.
- the Commission sends a query to the Member State concerned, which as a rule has 10 weeks to reply;
- the Commission then has, as a rule, 10 weeks to assess the Member State’s response; and
- if the response is unsatisfactory, the Commission may start an infringement procedure.
EU Pilot extends beyond 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.