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March 2024 infringements package: key decisions

13 March 2024
by eub2 -- last modified 13 March 2024

In its regular package of infringement decisions, the European Commission pursues legal action against EU Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. These decisions, covering various sectors and EU policy areas, aim to ensure the proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses.


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The key decisions taken by the Commission are presented below and grouped by policy area. The Commission is also closing 50 cases in which the issues with the Member States concerned have been solved without the Commission needing to pursue the procedure further.

For more information on the EU infringement procedure, see the full Q&A.

For more detail on past decisions for a case, you can consult the infringement decisions' register by entering the INFR(YYYY)nnnn reference.

1. Environment

Letters of formal notice

The Commission calls on GERMANY to protect birds and their habitats
The European Commission decided to open an infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice to Germany (INFR(2023)2179) for failing to sufficiently implement measures required to conserve wild birds under the Birds Directive (Directive 2009/147/EC). The European Green Deal and the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 indicate that it is crucial for the EU to halt biodiversity loss by protecting and restoring biodiversity. The Birds Directive is key to maintain biodiversity and protects the 500 wild bird species naturally occurring in the EU. Germany has not classified the most suitable territories as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for five bird species, and therefore failed to create a sufficiently coherent network of such areas. In addition, Germany has not yet established any conservation measures for 220 out of 742 existing SPAs. Germany also did not sufficiently protect the SPA "Unterer Niederrhein" (Lower Rhine area) where the number of protected bird species declined significantly. The Commission concludes that the measures taken by Germany inside and outside the SPA network are so far insufficient to fulfil the requirements of the Directive. As a result, there is a manifest decline in the population of protected bird species. The Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice to Germany, which now has two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.

The Commission calls on SPAIN to improve its treatment of municipal waste
The European Commission decided to open an infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice to Spain (INFR(2024)2013) for failing to correctly apply the Landfill Directive (Directive 1999/31/EC) and the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC). The Landfill Directive sets standards for landfills to prevent adverse effects on human health, water, soil, and air. Under this Directive, Member States must take measures to ensure that only waste that has been subject to treatment is landfilled. The European Green Deal and the Zero Pollution Action Plan set a zero pollution ambition for the EU, which benefits public health, the environment and climate neutrality. In its judgment of 15 October 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that before landfilling, waste must be treated in the most appropriate way to reduce negative impacts on the environment and human health. However, latest data shows that 12.7% of all municipal waste collected in Spain did not receive the required treatment prior to its disposal in landfills. Furthermore, Spain has not established an integrated and adequate network of waste management installations for mixed municipal waste covering all the landfills in its entire territory. The Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice to Spain, which now has two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.

Additional letter of formal notice under Article 258 TFUE

The Commission calls on GERMANY to adopt noise action plans for major roads
The European Commission decided to send an additional letter of formal notice to Germany (INFR(2016)2116) for failing to establish noise action plans for all major roads. Under the Environmental Noise Directive (Directive 2002/49/EC), Member States must draw up noise action plans for agglomerations, roads, railways, and airports. The European Green Deal, with its zero pollution ambition, includes addressing noise pollution for public health, the environment and climate neutrality. As noise is the second cause of premature deaths after air pollution, the Commission set a specific target of reducing the number of people chronically disturbed by transport noise by 30% by 2030 (compared to 2017). The Environmental Noise Directive seeks to protect human health by requiring the Member States to assess noise levels so that citizens and authorities can choose the best solutions within mandatory action plans. Since the reasoned opinion of October 2017, Germany has established the necessary action plans for agglomerations, railways, and airports. However, many action plans for major roads outside agglomerations (approximately 16,000) are still missing. The Commission is therefore sending an additional letter of formal notice to Germany, which now has two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.

Reasoned opinions

The Commission calls on BULGARIA to protect its marine waters
Today, the European Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria (INFR(2022)2172) for failure to comply with reporting obligations under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Directive 2008/56/EC). The Directive aims to achieve a good environmental status of the EU's seas and oceans while ensuring that their resources are managed sustainably. Under the Directive, Member States were required to review and update their programmes of measures by 31 March 2022. These programmes are the cornerstones of the Directive as they identify the measures which need to be taken to achieve or maintain good environmental status and ensure that the implementation of these measures is monitored. Several Member States failed to submit reports on the updates of their programmes of measures to the Commission by the required deadlines. As a result, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the Member States concerned in February 2023. Some Member States have since adopted and reported their programmes of measures. However, Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Croatia, and Malta have so far failed to do so. The Commission already sent reasoned opinions to Denmark, Greece, Croatia and Malta in February 2024. Bulgaria had promised to complete the review and update of the programmes by the end of 2023, but their internal approval process was delayed. Therefore, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria, which now has two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Commission calls on CYPRUS to properly assess projects that may have a significant impact on Natura 2000 sites
Today, the European Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Cyprus (INFR(2019)2303) for failing to properly assess projects that may have a significant impact on Natura 2000 sites as required by the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC). The Directive is one of Europe's primary tools for protecting biodiversity. The Habitats Directive requires that plans and projects that are likely to have a significant impact on a Natura 2000 site undergo an assessment of their effects on the site before their authorisation. Plans and projects can only be authorised, subject to certain exemptions, if they do not harm the integrity of the site. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Cyprus in November 2019. Since then, the Commission has continued to receive complaints by citizens concerning the authorisation of new projects and has further monitored the situation. The Commission has found that the structural and persistent practice of authorising economic activities in Natura 2000 sites without complying with the Habitats Directive continues. Therefore, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Cyprus, which now has two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Commission calls on SLOVENIA to comply with the Habitats and Birds Directives
Today, the European Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Slovenia (INFR(2019)4058) for failing to comply with the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (Directive 2009/147/EC) in relation to the protection of grasslands, grassland birds and the butterfly False Ringlet. Under the Habitats Directive, Member States must protect and restore the habitats that play a vital role for biodiversity, such as grasslands, which also host many protected birds and butterflies. The European Green Deal and the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 indicate that it is crucial for the EU to halt biodiversity loss by protecting and restoring biodiversity. Certain unsustainable practices are causing deterioration of protected habitats in some Slovenian Natura 2000 sites and leading to substantial decline or even local extinction of certain species (e.g. grassland birds and the butterfly False Ringlet) in several Natura 2000 sites. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Slovenia in July 2019. Slovenia has since then taken measures, but these have proven insufficient to prevent the decline of grassland habitats and species. Therefore, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Slovenia, which now has two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Referrals to the Court of Justice

The Commission decides to refer IRELAND to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to protect peat bogs
Today, the European Commission decided to refer Ireland (INFR(2010)2161) to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to apply the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC) to protect sites designated for raised bog and blanket bog habitats from turf cutting. The Habitats Directive requires Member States to designate their most precious natural habitats and to protect them from harmful activities. These sites in Ireland continue to be degraded through drainage and turf cutting activities, and insufficient action is being taken to restore the sites. These areas are biodiversity hotspots playing host to important insect and bird species. They are categorised as "priority" habitats under the Directive due to their unique qualities. Peat bogs are also vital carbon sinks when healthy, while a UN report estimated that Ireland's degraded peatlands emit 21.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. Following the initiation of the infringement procedure, the Irish authorities made some progress, but have not fully addressed the shortcomings. For instance, whilst some restoration work has been undertaken on raised bog sites, no action has been taken regarding blanket bog sites where Ireland has failed to put in place an effective regulatory regime to protect these unique bog sites. Therefore, the Commission sent an additional reasoned opinion in September 2022. The Commission considers that efforts by the Irish authorities have, to date, been insufficient and is therefore referring Ireland to the Court of Justice of the European Union. More information is in the press release.

The Commission decides to refer GREECE to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to finalise the revision of its water plans
Today, the European Commission decided to refer Greece (INFR(2022)2191) to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to finalise the revision of its river basin management plans as required under the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC) and of its flood risk management plans as required under the Floods Directive (Directive 2007/60/EC). The Water Framework Directive focuses on ensuring the good qualitative and quantitative status of European water bodies, such as rivers and lakes. It aims to reduce and remove pollution, as well as ensure that there is enough water to support at the same time human needs and wildlife. It is an essential part of the European Green Deal and necessary to reach its climate, nature, and pollution reduction targets. Under the Directive, Member States must update and report their river basin management plans every six years. Compliance with the Floods Directive is critical for preparedness and management of floods. Under the Floods Directive, Member States must also update and report their flood risk management plans every six years. The river basin and flood risk management plans are key to fulfil the objectives of both Directives. Greece has so far not reviewed, adopted, and reported either management plans. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Greece in February 2023. This was followed, in November 2023, by a reasoned opinion. However, the relevant plans have still not been finalised. The Commission considers that efforts by the Greek authorities have, to date, been insufficient and is therefore referring Greece to the Court of Justice of the European Union. More information is in the press release.

The Commission decides to refer ITALY to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to fully comply with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive
Today, the European Commission decided to refer Italy (INFR(2017)2181) to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to fully comply with the collection and treatment obligations set in the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (Directive 1991/271/EEC). The Directive aims to protect people's health and the environment by requiring that urban wastewater is collected and treated before discharge into the environment. Untreated wastewater can put human health at risk and pollute lakes, rivers, soil, and coastal and groundwater. Information received from Italy has shown widespread failures to comply with the Directive, in a total of 179 Italian agglomerations. Italy still needs to ensure that wastewater collection systems (or individual systems or other appropriate systems in justified cases) are in place in 36 agglomerations. For 130 agglomerations, Italy is still failing to correctly treat the wastewater that is collected. For agglomerations that discharge wastewater into sensitive areas, a more stringent treatment of the wastewater is required. Italy still fails to comply with this obligation in 12 agglomerations. Finally, for 165 agglomerations, Italy fails to monitor that the water discharges meet, over time, the quality conditions required. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Italy in June 2018, followed by a reasoned opinion in July 2019. Despite some progress, many agglomerations remain non-compliant with the Directive's obligations. The Commission considers that efforts by the Italian authorities have, to date, been insufficient and is therefore referring Italy to the Court of Justice of the European Union. More information is in the press release.

The Commission decides to refer CYPRUS to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to take the necessary steps to protect and manage its Natura 2000 sites
Today, the European Commission decided to refer Cyprus (INFR(2021)2064) to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to comply with the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC). Under the Habitats Directive, Cyprus has formally designated 37 sites as Special Areas of Conservation but has yet to establish the necessary conservation measures for 28 of those sites. Moreover, the conservation objectives for 5 sites are not adequate, meaning that the species and habitats in these sites are not properly protected. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Cyprus in June 2021, followed by a reasoned opinion in April 2022. Despite some progress on the designation of Special Areas of Conservation, the Cypriot authorities have not fully addressed the grievances. The Commission considers that efforts by the Cypriot authorities have, to date, been insufficient and is therefore referring Cyprus to the Court of Justice of the European Union. More information is in the press release.

Letter of formal notice under Article 260 TFEU

The Commission calls on ITALY to comply with air quality standards
The European Commission is sending a letter of formal notice under Article 260 TFEU to Italy (INFR(2014)2147) for continued failure to comply with the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 10 November 2020 (C-644/18). In this ruling, the Court of Justice found that Italy had breached its obligations under the Ambient Air Quality Directive (Directive 2008/50/EC). The European Green Deal, with its zero pollution ambition, calls for full implementation of the air quality standards to effectively protect human health and safeguard the natural environment. The Ambient Air Quality Directive obliges Member States to keep the concentrations of specific pollutants in the air, like PM10, below certain limit values. If these limit values are exceeded, Member States must adopt measures to keep the exceedance period as short as possible. Although Italy has taken some measures since the judgment, in 2022, 24 air quality zones still reported exceedances of daily limit values and one zone reported exceedances of annual limit values. The Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice to Italy, which now has two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to refer Italy to Court with a request to impose financial sanctions.

2. Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Letter of formal notice

The Commission asks HUNGARY to comply with EU rules on freedom of establishment regarding its medically assisted reproduction legislation 
The European Commission decided to open an infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice to Hungary (INFR(2024)4001) regarding restrictions of medically assisted reproduction services to State-owned or State controlled providers only. As a result of amendments to Hungarian legislation, all licences of foreign private operators have been terminated. The Commission considers the measure violates Article 49 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), concerning the freedom of establishment. The Hungarian rules restrict access to medically assisted reproduction procedures even though the offer of such services was already considerably lower than in other Member States of comparable size. Moreover, such restriction does not appear to be justified by any public interest consideration. The Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice to Hungary, which now has two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion. 

3. Migration, Home Affairs and Security Union

Letters of formal notice

The Commission calls on SPAIN, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SLOVAKIA, SWEDEN and FINLAND to fully and correctly transpose the provisions of the Seasonal Workers Directive  
The European Commission has opened an infringement procedure by sending a letter to Spain (INFR(2024)2004), Portugal (INFR(2024)2006), Romania (INFR(2024)2007), Slovenia (INFR(2024)2009), Slovakia (INFR(2024)2010), Sweden (INFR(2024)2008) and Finland (INFR(2024)2005) for failing to fully transpose all provisions of the Seasonal Workers Directive (Directive 2014/36/EU). The Directive aims to ensure fair and transparent rules for the admission of non-EU seasonal workers to the EU, with guarantees for decent working and living conditions, equal rights, and sufficient protection from exploitation across the EU. Ensuring the full respect of the Seasonal Workers Directive is an important prerequisite for attracting the workers needed for seasonal work to the EU and it could also contribute to reducing irregular migration. The Commission is monitoring its transposition into national law by Member States.  The Commission launched the first set of infringements in April 2023, by sending letters of formal notice respectively to Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Luxembourg. A second set of infringements was launched in December 2023, by sending letters of formal notice to Czechia, France, Croatia, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, and Poland. The Commission considers that Spain, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, and Sweden, have incorrectly transposed and/or implemented some obligations under the Directive. The Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice to Spain, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden and Finland, which now have two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. . In the absence of a satisfactory response, the European Commission may decide to send them a reasoned opinion.    

Reasoned opinions 

The Commission calls on BULGARIA, CYPRUS, and SLOVENIA to fulfil the obligations of the Regulation on dissemination of terrorist content online  
Today, the European Commission decided to send reasoned opinions to  Bulgaria (INFR(2022)2113), Cyprus (INFR(2022)2114) and Slovenia (INFR(2022)2132) for failing to comply with certain obligations of the Regulation on the dissemination of terrorist content online (TCO, Regulation (EU) 2021/784).The TCO Regulation, which entered into application on 7 June 2022, requires that terrorist content in the EU is taken down by online platforms within one hour upon receipt of a removal order issued by Member States' authorities. This helps to counter the spread of extremist ideologies online – which is key for preventing attacks and addressing radicalisation – while safeguarding fundamental rights. The Commission launched a set of infringements in January 2023, by sending letters of formal notice to 22 Member States. The Commission considers that Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Slovenia have failed to comply with one or more obligations under the TCO Regulation. Therefore, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria, Cyprus and Slovenia, which now have two months to respond and take the necessary measures.  Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the cases to the Court of Justice of the European Union.    

4. Justice

Letters of formal notice 

The Commission calls on BULGARIA to correctly transpose the Directive on the right of access to a lawyer and to communicate upon arrest 
The European Commission decided to open an infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice to Bulgaria (INFR(2024)2003) for failing to correctly transpose into its national legislation the Directive on the right of access to a lawyer and to communicate upon arrest (Directive 2013/48/EU).  This Directive aims to ensure access to a lawyer from the earliest stages of proceedings for persons subjected to a European Arrest Warrant (EAW), as well as for suspects and accused persons in criminal proceedings. It further ensures that those who are deprived of liberty may inform and communicate with third persons, such as their employer or family members, as well as with consular authorities. The Commission considers that certain national transposition measures notified by Bulgaria do not meet the requirements of the Directive. Specifically, the Commission finds that the scope of application of procedural safeguards under Bulgarian law is too narrow. The Commission also concluded that there are shortcomings in Bulgarian law as regards the transposition of the right to effective participation by a lawyer during the investigation phase. Additionally, the Commission considers that potential possibilities to derogate from the right of access to a lawyer due to investigative needs go beyond the limits required by the Directive and that the requirement to inform the holder of parental responsibility or other appropriate adult of the deprivation of liberty of a child has not been correctly transposed. The Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice to Bulgaria, which now has two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.  

The Commission calls on BULGARIA to correctly transpose EU law combating racism and xenophobia  
The European Commission decided to send an additional letter of formal notice to Bulgaria (INFR(2020)2321) for an incorrect transposition of EU rules on racism and xenophobia (Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA). The aim of the Framework Decision is to ensure that serious manifestations of racism and xenophobia, such as public incitement to violence or hatred, are punishable by effective, proportionate, and dissuasive criminal penalties throughout the European Union. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Bulgaria in February 2021. In July 2023, Bulgaria adopted a law amending the criminal code that partly resolved the grievances raised by the Commission. However, the Commission considers that this amendment does not fully comply with Article 4 of the Framework Decision, which requires that racist and xenophobic motivations be an aggravating circumstance for all criminal offences, or to ensure that such motivation is taken into account when determining penalties. The Commission is therefore sending an additional letter of formal notice to Bulgaria, which now has two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.   

Letters of formal notice and reasoned opinions 

The Commission urges GERMANY, SPAIN, LATVIA and SLOVENIA to comply with cross-border judicial procedures on the European Arrest Warrant  
Today, the European Commission decided to send an additional letter of formal notice to Germany (INFR(2020)2361), Latvia (INFR(2021)2239) and Slovenia (INFR(2020)2313) and a reasoned opinion to Spain (INFR(2021)2070), for failing to comply with the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States (Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA). The European arrest warrant (EAW) is a simplified cross-border judicial procedure to surrender a requested person for the purpose of prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order. Operational since 1 January 2004, the EAW has replaced the lengthy extradition procedures that existed between EU Member States. The Commission first sent a letter of formal notice to Germany in February 2021, to Spain in May 2021, to Latvia in December 2021 and to Slovenia in February 2022. On analysis of their replies, the Commission concluded that Germany, Latvia and Slovenia failed to correctly transpose the provision on the optional grounds for refusal to execute the EAW. Moreover, Germany failed to transpose the provision on the situation of the requested person pending the decision to execute the EAW as regard the possibility of his/her temporary transfer. Spain has failed to fully transpose the provisions on surrender or subsequent extradition; moreover, Spain has failed to correctly transpose the provisions on mandatory and optional grounds for refusal and on decisions rendered following a trial at which the person did not appear in person. Therefore, the Commission has decided to send an additional letter of formal notice to Germany, Latvia and Slovenia, and a reasoned opinion to Spain, which now have two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to send Germany, Latvia and Slovenia a reasoned opinion and refer Spain to the Court of Justice of the European Union. 

The Commission calls on SPAIN, ITALY, CYPRUS, LUXEMBOURG and POLAND to fully transpose the EU rules on procedural safeguards for children in criminal proceedings  
The European Commission decided to open infringement procedures by sending letters of formal notice to Spain (INFR(2023)2176), Italy (INFR(2023)2090), Luxembourg (INFR(2024)2002) and Poland (INFR(2023)2127), and to issue an additional reasoned opinion to Cyprus (INFR(2019)0175), for failing to fully transpose into their national law the Directive on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings (Directive (EU) 2016/800). This Directive is part of the EU's comprehensive strategy to establish common minimum standards to guarantee the right to a fair trial and the rights of suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings across the EU. It establishes common rules on the protection of procedural safeguards for children such as the right to an individual assessment, to specific treatment in case of deprivation of liberty (such as separation from adult detainees and access to training and education) and to be accompanied by the holder of parental responsibility during the proceedings. The Commission considers that Poland failed to fully transpose the scope of the Directive and certain substantive requirements, for instance, with regards to the right to an individual assessment and the assistance of the child by a lawyer. In the cases of Italy, Luxembourg and Spain, completeness issues were identified, for instance, with regards to the right to information of the child and the right to a medical examination. Cyprus received a first reasoned opinion in May 2020 for failing to communicate to the Commission the measures transposing the Directive. Following Cyprus' reply, the Commission concluded that the notified measures fall short of the requirement of the Directive to ensure specific treatment of children in case of deprivation of liberty. Therefore, the Commission has decided to send letters of formal notice to Spain, Italy, Luxembourg and Poland and an additional reasoned opinion to Cyprus. The Member States now have two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to send Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, and Poland a reasoned opinion and refer Cyprus to the Court of Justice of the European Union.  

5. Energy and climate

Reasoned opinion

The Commission urges GERMANY to fully transpose the Renewable Energy Directive
Today, the European Commission decided to send an additional reasoned opinion to Germany (INFR(2021)0192) for not having fully transposed EU rules on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources set out in Directive (EU) 2018/2001. This Directive provides the legal framework for the development of renewable energy in electricity, heating and cooling, and transport in the EU. It sets an EU-level binding target for 2030 of at least 32% renewable energy and includes measures to ensure support for renewable energy to be cost-effective, and to simplify administrative procedures for renewable energy projects. It also facilitates the participation of citizens in the energy transition and sets specific targets to increase the share of renewables in the heating and cooling and transport sectors by 2030. The deadline to transpose the Directive into national law was 30 June 2021. After the launch of the infringement procedure in July 2021, the Commission sent in May 2022 a reasoned opinion to Germany for not having fully transposed the Directive, notably for not having notified a complete correlation table or explanatory document specifying how each provision of the Directive was transposed. Following explanations provided by Germany, the Commission has now decided to send an additional reasoned opinion because the transposition of the Directive is still not complete. Germany now has two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

6. Mobility and Transport

Letters of formal notice 

The Commission calls on SLOVAKIA to inspect road tunnels on TEN-T Road Network 
The European Commission today decided to send a letter of formal notice to Slovakia (INFR(2024)4000) for failing to perform periodic inspections of road tunnels on the Trans-European Networks for Transport (TEN-T) Road Network. Directive 2004/54/EC requires tunnels on the TEN-T Road Network and their safety features to be regularly inspected, at least every six years, to ensure that they are reliable and permanently functional. Slovakia failed to make the necessary arrangements for these inspections to take place and exposes the tunnels' users to risks. The Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice to Slovakia, which now has two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion. 

Additional letter of formal notice

The Commission calls on the NETHERLANDS to comply with EU rules on competitive award of rail public transport contracts 
The European Commission has decided to send an additional letter of formal notice to the Netherlands (INFR(2023)4011) for failure to correctly apply Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 on public passenger transport by road and rail. Introducing regulated competition into the rail market, in compliance with this Regulation, is essential to provide passengers with more attractive and innovative services at lower cost, while keeping public service tasks. On 14 July 2023, the Commission sent a first letter of formal notice on the grounds that the Netherlands had decided to award the concession contract for passenger transport services by rail from 2025 to 2033 directly to the incumbent operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen, while it should have used a competitive award procedure. Despite the Commission's concerns, the contract has been awarded on 21 December 2023. An additional concern regards the scope of the public service obligations set out in that contract. Under the Regulation, public service obligations are requirements imposed by a public authority to ensure that an operator will assume public passenger transport services in the general interest even though these services are not in its commercial interest. According to the Commission, the Netherlands have not sufficiently analysed which transport services could be provided by market operators under commercial, open access conditions. This is in breach of Article 2(a) in conjunction of Article 2(e) of Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007. The Netherlands have now two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission in this additional letter of formal notice. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion. 

Reasoned opinions 

The Commission calls on SPAIN, CROATIA, CYPRUS, LUXEMBOURG, POLAND and SLOVENIA to transpose EU rules on use of vehicles hired without drivers for carriage of goods by road 
The European Commission today decided to send a reasoned opinion to Spain (INFR(2023)0213), Croatia (INFR(2023)0221), Cyprus (INFR(2023)0196) Luxembourg (INFR(2023)0229), Poland (INFR(2023)0236) and Slovenia (INFR(2023)0246) for failing to communicate to the Commission any national measures to transpose EU rules on the use of vehicles hired without drivers for the carriage of goods by road (Directive (EU) 2022/738). This Directive aims to help companies to benefit from the advantages of using hired vehicles, for example by allowing the use of vehicles hired in another Member State. Such a possibility can, in particular, make it easier for companies to meet short-term, seasonal or temporary peaks in demand or to replace defective or damaged vehicles, while ensuring compliance with the necessary safety requirements and ensuring adequate working conditions for drivers. Member States needed to adopt the measures by 6 August 2023 to comply with EU legislation. Therefore, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to these Member States, which now have two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. 

The Commission calls on SLOVENIA to transpose EU rules on professional qualifications in inland navigation 
Today, the European Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Slovenia (INFR(2022)2041) for failing to transpose Directive (EU) 2017/2397 on the recognition of professional qualifications in inland navigation. In addition, the Commission decided to send an additional reasoned opinion (INFR(2022)0261) for Slovenia's failure to transpose Directive (EU) 2021/1233, amending Directive (EU) 2017/2397, on transitional measures for recognising third-country certificates for inland navigation. Directive (EU) 2017/2397 sets the conditions and procedures for certifying the qualifications of persons involved in the operation of a craft on EU inland waterways, and for the recognition of such qualifications in other Member States. It also sets out transitional measures to ensure that certificates of qualification, service record books and logbooks issued before the end of the Directive's transposition period remain valid. Following the letter of formal notice sent to Slovenia on 15 July 2022, the Commission did not receive notifications from Slovenia showing that it has fully transposed the Directive into national law. To ensure a smooth transition to the system for recognising third-country documents, Directive (EU) 2021/1233, amends Directive (EU) 2017/2397. Slovenia has neither transposed this second Directive, despite the letter of formal notice sent on 24 March 2022. As Slovenia's national legislation is not fully in line with the relevant EU Directives, the Commission has now decided to take additional steps by sending two reasoned opinions to Slovenia which now has two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the cases to the Court of Justice of the European Union.  

Source: European Commission

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