European Commission Takes Action against Croatia over EU Law Infringements

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ZAGREB, January 24, 2019 – As part of its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission has initiated legal action against Croatia for failing to comply with EU law.

The Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, is authorised to take legal action against member states for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. Every month the Commission makes decisions on infringements of EU legislation, and this process begins by sending a letter of formal notice. If the problem is not resolved at this stage, the Commission sends a reasoned opinion, and if the member state fails to act, the Commission refers it to the EU Court of Justice.

On Thursday, the European Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to 15 member states, including Croatia, requesting the correct transposition of the Energy Efficiency Directive into national law.

The 2012 Directive establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the EU in order to ensure the achievement of the EU’s 20% energy efficiency target for 2020 and to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date. Under the Directive, all EU countries are required to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain, from production to final consumption. The member states now have two months to respond to the arguments put forward by the Commission. If they do not act within those two months, the Commission may send a reasoned opinion to their authorities.

In addition, Croatia and Romania were formally reprimanded for failure to submit progress reports in reaching cost-optimal levels of minimum energy performance requirements for buildings and its elements. The Commission decided to refer Czechia and Slovenia to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to comply with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

The Commission took action against 27 member states, all but Denmark, to ensure the proper implementation of EU rules on services and professional qualifications. Letters of formal notice were sent for the non-compliance of their legislation and legal practice with EU rules on the recognition of professional qualifications and the corresponding access to activities.

A supplementary letter of formal notice was sent to Croatia regarding restrictions for lawyers to provide multidisciplinary services, advertising restrictions and limitations on the right to practice (breach of the EU Services Directive and the Directive on the establishment of lawyers and law firms).

The Commission decided to close its infringement procedures which were opened against Croatia, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain over their failure to transpose the first EU-wide legislation on cybersecurity rules into their national legislation. The procedures were suspended after these member states showed that the transposition of the new rules into national law complied with the Directive.

More news on Croatia and the EU can be found in the Politics section.


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