Enforcement law

 

Enforcement is the law used to enforce European law in member states. If there were no means of enforcement to make member states follow European law then this would undermine the effectiveness of the law. Enforcement law allows the European Commission to insist that member states fulfil their obligations under the Treaty.

The European Commission gets thousands of complaints from individuals, bodies and companies each year which it must investigate to decide if the member state has indeed broken EU law. Case law states that member states must co-operate with the Commission as to investigations into alleged breaches.

Under enforcement law the European Commission can commence enforcement action whenever it considers a member state to have breached general principles of EU law. It may be that the member state has failed to implement EU law or has retained national laws which clash with EU laws.

What is the process?

Enforcement law procedure starts with an administrative stage in which the Director General of Commission policy writes to the member state informing it that it is the Commission’s view that there has been a breach of European law. The member state should then answer allegations or rectify their position by, for example, passing a law that amends the state’s position.

If, after receiving a reply from the member state, the Commission decides that the state is still in breach, it may deliver reasoned opinion to the state which will form the basis of legal proceedings at the European Court of Justice.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on enforcement law, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist European law solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local European law solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above. 

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