The data were released by the European Commission in an annual report on monitoring the application of EU law, published on 23 July, in which the institution indicates that it has started a total of 903 new cases against Member States (also including the United Kingdom), an increase of 13 percent compared to 2019, when the number of new cases was 797.
Portugal was responsible for the largest number of new casses, having received 55 notices from Brussels in 2020, the same level as the United Kingdom (with 55), which, however, is no longer part of the community space.
And, according to Brussels, 42 new cases against Portugal infringements due to late enacting of Community legislation into Portuguese national law, which was the country with the most delays in this matter.
Faced with warnings from the community executive, Portugal ended up resolving some of these cases within the deadline given by Brussels, which prevented some cases from reaching the court. And was not the EU country with the most infringement cases open at the end of 2020.
This position was previously occupied by Bulgaria, Italy, Malta and Greece, which had the highest number of new cases opened for incorrect enacting or incorrect application of EU law last year, while Denmark, Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands had the lowest.
In all, at the end of last year, Portugal had 73 infringement cases still open (taking into account those from 2020 and previous years), 31 of which for late enacting of community directives, 28 for wrong application and 14 for breach of laws or European regulations in national decisions.
Exactly a year ago, in July 2020, the European Commission decided to launch an infringement case against Portugal and nine other Member States for breaching EU laws on passenger rights, namely due to the issuing of vouchers instead of refunds, in the context of Covid-19.
In the area of car taxation, the European Commission decided last year to appeal to the Court of Justice against Portugal for discriminatory rules on car registration tax, which affect those who buy used cars from other EU countries.
The community executive also decided to advance against Portugal and two other EU countries for not having implemented measures against tax evasion practices that directly affect the functioning of the single market.
These two examples are highlighted in the European Commission report.
EU Member States are responsible for ensuring, in an adequate and timely manner, the enacting of European legislation into their national legal order, as well as for its application and enforcement.
It is up to the European Commission to monitor whether countries correctly apply this legislation and to adopt measures if the countries don’t do it properly.