As stated in the introduction, the infringements procedure under Article 258 of the TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, see page 210) has three stages: formal notice, reasoned opinion and referral to the Court.
The first stage takes the form of a formal request for information in order to investigate of the case and remains confidential, whereas in the case of reasoned opinions and referrals the Commission generally issues a press release informing the public about the procedure.
In exceptional cases of particular importance to citizens (for example, when it is clear that an offence has been committed that has also led to a very large number of complaints), the Commission may decide to issue a press release even at the formal notice stage.
Finally, the Commission may see fit to issue a press release without a specific infringement procedure on any situation which it regards as failing to comply with Community law, or after the end of a procedure in order to explain the reasons for its action or to inform European citizens of the outcome.
On this page you will find an overview of press releases broken down :