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. 

0800 1777 162
or fill in the form
Our trained advisor contacts you
Your chosen specialist solicitor calls you
Quick enquiry form
Area of law:
What our clients say about us
"This was the first time I've been to court, which was a nerve-racking experience for me. However, I felt very prepared, I understood my case and representation - this was down to you."
Gavin, criminal motoring, Oct 15
"Your service, and the prompt call back from your recommended firm was very good. I would not hesitate to call again or recommend your service."
Ian, employment law, Truro, July 15
"The firm were excellent, could not have been better! They are exactly what I need right now."
Linda, criminal defence, Thames Ditton, Jul 15
"Your contact and service was immediate and utmost professional, 10/10."
TF, conveyancing, Dudley, Jun 15
"I appreciate the service that you provide. I found you to be courteous, efficient and reassuring at a time when my confidence in justice is completely negative."
Patrick, litigation, Pontypridd, Jun 15
"I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the speed of which you came back to me in. If anyone else can benefit from your help like I have done, it would make my day."
Gail M, family law, Potters Bar, Jun 15
"Your assistance was extremely helpful. Particularly to someone who in 40 years of business has never experienced this sort of issue."
TD, commercial litigation, Galashiels, Apr 15
"It is difficult to express the value Contact Law has to someone like me who had very little understanding of the law and how to proceed forward with my case. Thank you for the service you provided."
AE, defamation law, Worthing, Apr 15
"Thank you for the efficient service I received. I was contacted by your solicitor on the same day as my request. Your quick response to my situation made me feel secure."
AN, employment law, London, Apr 15
"Your service was excellent, very fast and informative. I never got the impression of being pressurised at all. The solicitor you recommended was also excellent – very knowledgeable and supportive."
JHD, Motoring law, Liverpool, Apr 15
Contact Law supports the endeavours of STAE and commends all the work they are undertaking to assist in the plight of the Asian Elephant


We use cookies on the Contact Law site to help us improve it.

If you would like to allow our cookies, please click 'Continue' or carry on browsing. For more information on cookies and how to change your settings, click 'More info'.