Latest EU report shows how bad things are.

Graham Charles Lear
7 min readJul 26, 2019

REVEALED.

How much of life is now controlled from Brussels, not Westminster

While the BBC, Sky News, and the newspapers were rather focused on Boris yesterday — and of course on critical comments from the EU about Boris — the Brussels machine was grinding on.

Each month the EU publishes what it calls an “Infringements Package”. This lists all the actions it is taking against member states for failing to obey EU law on a repeated basis. The full list is lengthy, so here are just the highlights of the latest Infringement Package published yesterday.

The EU’s July Infringements

NOTE

These are only decisions in July, and only the key ones at that

COUNTRY ACCUSED

NATURE OF INFRINGEMENT OF EU LAW

Belgium

Failure to pay customs duties into the EU budget

Italy

Failure to control fluorinated greenhouse gases

Romania

Failure to control fluorinated greenhouse gases

Bulgaria

Failing to notify the full transposition of the EU law on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications

Germany

Failing to notify the full transposition of the EU law on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications

Ireland

Failing to notify the full transposition of the EU law on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications

Croatia

Failing to plan the 700MHz frequency band for 5G services

Austria

Failing to submit information about operators of essential services identified under the EU law

Belgium

Failing to submit information about operators of essential services identified under the EU law

Greece

Failing to submit information about operators of essential services identified under the EU law

Hungary

Failing to submit information about operators of essential services identified under the EU law

Romania

Failing to submit information about operators of essential services identified under the EU law

Croatia

Failed to effectively implement the rules on the 112 emergency number

Czechia

Failed to effectively implement the rules on the 112 emergency number

Germany

Failed to effectively implement the rules on the 112 emergency number

Greece

Failed to effectively implement the rules on the 112 emergency number

Spain

Failed to effectively implement the rules on the 112 emergency number

Cyprus

Infringements of the geo-blocking rules, including sanctions by national enforcement bodies for businesses breaching EU rules

France

Infringements of the geo-blocking rules, including sanctions by national enforcement bodies for businesses breaching EU rules

Poland

Infringements of the geo-blocking rules, including sanctions by national enforcement bodies for businesses breaching EU rules

Romania

Infringements of the geo-blocking rules, including sanctions by national enforcement bodies for businesses breaching EU rules

Slovakia

Infringements of the geo-blocking rules, including sanctions by national enforcement bodies for businesses breaching EU rules

Spain

Infringements of the geo-blocking rules, including sanctions by national enforcement bodies for businesses breaching EU rules

Austria

Incompatibility of its law on the indexation of family benefits and family tax credits with EU rules

Hungary

Failing to protect standby workers (such as night guards or security guards), as required by EU law

Italy

Abuse of fixed-term contracts and avoiding discriminatory employment conditions in the public sector

Spain

National provisions on annual leave are incompatible with EU rules on the Working Time Directive

Belgium

Failing to comply with EU rules on electricity and gas markets

Italy

Failure to transpose EU rules on protection against radiation

Austria

Incorrect transposition of EU energy efficiency rules into national law

Germany

Incorrect transposition of EU energy efficiency rules into national law

Slovakia

Incorrect transposition of EU energy efficiency rules into national law

Spain

Incorrect transposition of EU energy efficiency rules into national law

Sweden

Incorrect transposition of EU energy efficiency rules into national law

UK

Incorrect transposition of EU energy efficiency rules into national law

Romania

Failing to eliminate restrictions on trade in natural gas between Member States as required under EU rules

Denmark

Failing to fully transpose EU rules reinforcing the sustainability of biofuels

Estonia

Failing to fully transpose EU rules reinforcing the sustainability of biofuels

Greece

Failing to fully transpose EU rules reinforcing the sustainability of biofuels

Hungary

Failing to fully transpose EU rules reinforcing the sustainability of biofuels

Italy

Failing to fully transpose EU rules reinforcing the sustainability of biofuels

Malta

Failing to fully transpose EU rules reinforcing the sustainability of biofuels

Poland

Failing to fully transpose EU rules reinforcing the sustainability of biofuels

Slovakia

Failing to fully transpose EU rules reinforcing the sustainability of biofuels

Malta

Failing to report on cost-optimal levels of minimum energy performance requirements as required under EU law

Bulgaria

Failing to protect citizens from poor air quality

Spain

Failing to protect citizens from poor air quality

Croatia

Systemic failure in monitoring pollution

Romania

Systemic failure in monitoring pollution

Greece

Failing to protect its citizens from noxious air pollution from several power plants as required by EU law on industrial emissions

Poland

Breached its obligations under the Ambient Air Quality Directive

Romania

Failure to impose permits for plants that operate under the Industrial Emissions Directive

Austria

Failure to improve its implementation of the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

Austria

Failure to bring its legislation into line with European rules on the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive

Estonia

Failure to bring their national legislation into line with the new Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

Hungary

Failure to bring their national legislation into line with the new Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

Malta

Failure to bring their national legislation into line with the new Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

Ireland

Failure to ensure that peat bog extraction activities are properly assessed before authorisation

This is NOT the full list the list goes on and on.

You can take a look here at it all.

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/law/press_en.htm

This is only the first third of the infringements in the list

The above summary table has had to be constructed manually by overnight as the EU does not produce one. The above list shows approximately the first third of the infringements notified in July alone. And these are only “the key ones”.

In case Remain MPs look at the list and only see the UK mentioned once, I must stress that the created the list in the exact same order as the infringements were shown in the EU’s 19,500-word document.

There are three key messages

  1. Brussels really does make an enormous number of laws, despite the contrary claims by the Remain campaign in the Referendum — and since
  2. Just because Brussels says something, it does not mean it happens
  3. The UK appears only three times in the full list — once in the list shown above, once amongst a list of 20 EU member states about firearms registrations, and once on a list of 15 member states requesting it to register with the European Registers of Road Transport Undertakings. Hardly massive crimes.

The example of Irish peat bogs

If we look at the last item on our list above, here is what the EU told Ireland yesterday:-“The Commission urges Ireland to ensure that peat bog extraction activities are properly assessed before authorisation. In a previous legal case on this matter (Commission vs Ireland of September 1999, C-392/96), the Court of Justice of the EU ruled against Ireland, finding it in breach of EU law. As confirmed by the Court, under the EU rules on environmental impact assessment (the Environmental Impact Directive, Directive 2011/92/EU), the impact of peat extraction activities on the environment must be properly assessed before authorisation. The Commission is concerned that these EU rules are still not being applied. Furthermore, a recent amendment of Irish law in January 2019 affecting larger extraction sites now gives operators more time for extraction activities that are in breach of EU law. As a result, the Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to the Irish authorities. Ireland now has two months to address the Commission’s concerns. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.”

As can be seen above, this case against the Irish started 20 years ago and is still unresolved.

The simple fact is that the EU IS an unlevel playing field. Member states have wildly different economies and wildly different social and legal structures. Some, such as the UK, attempt to apply EU law in all cases even when it is not in their interests to do so.

Other member states are less diligent.

Remain MPs always seem to think that the UK is powerless to make its own laws for its own people, and apparently believe that the UK Parliament is unable to do this without the help of thousands of unelected officials in Brussels.

It would seem self-evident that the laws which the EU machine wish to make will suit many EU member states far more than they would suit the needs of the British people.

What does Brussels know about Irish peat bogs?

The last item on our list above relates to the Irish. This case has been rumbling on for 20 years.

Whilst the quality of Irish peat bog extraction may not be top of the list of concerns of the British people, it is nonetheless an example of how the “rules-based order” of the EU is not all Remain MPs seem to think it is.

Bulldog Boris

Yesterday in Parliament we saw Boris Johnson reminding MPs that ours is a great country. Wouldn’t it be good if we saw MPs believing once again in the ability of the Mother of all Parliaments to make laws for its own people?

[ Sources: EU Commission ]

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.