42 infringement cases open against Ireland
Brian Hayes MEP today said that Ireland needs to improve how it transposes EU law into national legislation given that we have 42 infringement cases open by the European Commission for either bad application of EU law or for late transposition of EU law.
“Every EU Directive that gets adopted by the European Parliament has to be transposed by Ireland into national legislation. This has been happening for over 40 years of our membership yet there are still problems in the way that EU law is transposed into our national legislation.
“As of 2015, there were 42 infringement cases open against Ireland by the European Commission, 32 of these were for bad application of EU law and 10 were for late transposition of Directives. This is costly, time consuming and seriously affects the workings of our legislative system. Worryingly, 21 new infringement cases were opened in 2014, six of which relate to transport.
“On top of that, Ireland was one of only three countries brought to the Court of Justice in 2014 for two cases – incorrectly transposing the Electricity Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive (the case involving the Electricity Directive was ultimately withdrawn).
“In the first instance, this is for the Minister and their Department to get it right. And secondly, it is for the Dail to properly scrutinise the legislation. Given the current political dilemma, it is an appropriate time to examine how we apply EU law. This could be part of the overall Dail reform package being discussed.
“I believe there should be a cross-party working group set up between Oireachtas Members and civil servants to see how we can improve our application of EU law. It tarnishes Ireland’s reputation when we are brought to the EU Court of Justice. We need to ensure that our legislative system is modernised and can work smoothly alongside the EU law-making process.
“The European Parliament is currently doing a piece of work on this issue which is calling for the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal on a European law of administrative procedure. This report is going through Committee procedure at the moment and will come before the whole Parliament for a vote later this year.”