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Document 52023DC0453

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION Monitoring the application of European Union law 2022 Annual Report

COM/2023/453 final

Brussels, 14.7.2023

COM(2023) 453 final

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION

Monitoring the application of European Union law

2022 Annual Report


Foreword

The European Green Deal

Clean air and water

Management of flood risks

Protecting biodiversity

Promoting a circular economy

Climate action

Clean energy

Single market for energy

Clean transport

Sustainable agriculture ensuring food supply

Sustainable fisheries and maritime spatial planning

Health and food safety

Preventing tobacco-related diseases

Safer transport

A Europe fit for the Digital Age

Technology that works for people

A fair and competitive digital economy

Promoting the data economy

An open, democratic and sustainable digital society

Protection for consumers and companies

Accessible products, services and websites

Allowing the single market to increase growth

Transparent information about and for businesses

Digital transport systems

An economy that works for people

Working conditions

Health and safety at work

Labour mobility

Social security coordination

Better information and assistance for citizens and businesses

Better regulation of professions and recognition of qualifications

Preventing bankruptcy of viable companies

Financial services

Retail payments

Overseeing the application of EU financial services rules by national authorities

Money laundering and terrorist financing

Mobility and transport

Direct taxation

Indirect taxation

Customs

Promoting the European way of life and democracy

Rule of law

Protecting people who report breaches of EU law

Combating discrimination, racism and xenophobia

Promoting work-life balance

Protecting personal data

Protecting EU citizenship

Judicial cooperation and individual rights in criminal matters

Security

Migration and Asylum

Implementing sanctions against Russia

Disclaimer: This report sets out the Commission’s actions to monitor and enforce EU law during 2022. The state of play of infringement cases mentioned may have evolved since then.


Foreword

The year 2022 marked one of the darkest moments in our continent's recent history. War returned to Europe with an immediate impact on us all. Many feared not only the consequences for Ukraine, but also that the rest of Europe would fall into economic recession, democratic upheaval and division. Instead, we resisted. Ukraine's struggle for freedom continues to inspire us, and to keep up the unprecedented financial, military and political support from the European Union.

And while we are, and will remain, unwavering in our support to Ukraine, we are also continuing to deliver on the transformational changes that we promised at the start of this Commission’s mandate, to build a stronger, greener and healthier Europe for the next generation.

To bring about these changes, we have put forward a wide range of ambitious proposals and strategies. But our ambitions can only become a reality and will only truly benefit all Europeans, no matter where they live, if the rules that we propose are not only agreed in Brussels, but are also properly applied on the ground in all parts of the EU.

This report sets out the action that we took in 2022 to make sure that those rules work in practice. We enforced EU rules across all policy fields, focusing on the issues that are most important for the everyday lives of people and businesses. Most of the procedures that we launched in 2022 therefore related to the environment, to justice and fundamental rights, and to the single market and employment.

Where problems arise, we first work closely with the Member States to try and resolve them as soon as possible. Most often, with success. However, as the report shows, we do not hesitate to take enforcement action where necessary to ensure that our Union remains a safe space of shared prosperity, a democracy of democracies and a true community of values.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ursula von der Leyen

President of the European Commission

The European Green Deal

‘We must work relentlessly to adapt to our climate – making nature our first ally.’

President von der Leyen, in her 2022 State of the Union Address

Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world. The extreme heatwaves, forest fires and unprecedented droughts in 2022 made people around the world feel their increasingly severe effects. Accelerating the EU’s green transition is essential for tackling the climate crisis and strengthening the EU’s economy and security. The European Green Deal  sets out the path towards zero pollution for air, water and soil, and transforming the EU’s economy into one that is modern and resource-efficient. In 2022, the Commission rigorously enforced EU rules to make these objectives become a reality. 

Clean air and water

Air pollution is the largest environmental health risk in Europe. EU rules on air quality standards  are crucial for reducing the negative effects of air pollution on human health: in the last 30 years, the number of premature deaths due to air pollution in the Member States has decreased by 60%. The Commission has continued to enforce these standards relentlessly to protect human health and safeguard the natural environment. 

The Commission took the next step in its infringement proceedings against Croatia  for poor air quality due to high levels of particulate matter (PM10) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). It called on Poland  to remove barriers to access to justice in relation to air quality plans under the Ambient Air Quality Directive . The Commission took the next step in the procedure against Cyprus  for failing to fully transpose the Medium Combustion Plants Directive . The Directive establishes emission limits for medium combustion plants to reduce air pollution.

The Commission decided to refer  Spain ,  Malta and  Poland  to the Court of Justice of the European Union over their treatment of waste water. It also took the next step in the procedure against  Hungary for substances in drinking water that could pose a potential health danger. 

The Commission insisted on appropriate treatment of waste water . It also enforced the Drinking Water Directive  to ensure that water intended for human consumption is wholesome and clean.

Management of flood risks

The catastrophic floods in Germany and Belgium in July 2021 demonstrated the importance of assessing flood risks in the light of climate change. Floods can also release pollutants stored in the ground and spread them even more widely. The Floods Directive requires Member States to adopt plans to manage flood risks, critical to swift reaction. The Commission took the next step in infringement procedures against  Bulgaria , Greece , Cyprus , Lithuania , Romania  and Slovakia  to ensure updated flood risk maps.

Protecting biodiversity

The European Green Deal and the Biodiversity strategy for 2030 both aim for the EU to halt its biodiversity loss. This should be achieved by preserving natural sites and restoring damaged ecosystems to favourable conservation status in habitats that play a vital role for biodiversity. Restoring forests, soils, wetlands and marine areas is essential for achieving the climate change mitigation needed by 2030.

EU rules also provide for parties affected by environmental damage to request the responsible national authority to decide which preventive and remedial action the liable operator should take. The Commission called on the Netherlands  and Sweden  to properly transpose these rules. In parallel, the Commission was able to close five cases because Member States brought their rules in line with EU law. This ensured that all people who should have this right can submit information and request the authorities to take action when it comes to environmental damage. 

The Commission decided to refer  Greece to the Court of Justice for failing to correctly transpose the Environmental Impact   Assessment Directive . The Commission called on  Spain to remedy the harmful effects of a hotel complex in the Canary Islands on the environment. The Commission also called on France to bring its legislation fully in line with the Directive. Cyprus, on the other hand, aligned its national rules and the Commission closed its infringement case. This will strengthen the assessment of consequences of a project for the environment in Cyprus ahead of its actual construction, which is fundamental to protecting biodiversity. 

The Commission took the next step in the procedure against 15 Member States to protect the environment against invasive alien species . It also called on  Slovakia , Cyprus and Portugal  to protect and manage their Natura 2000 protected areas under the  Habitats Directive . The Commission also called on Slovenia  to comply with the Birds Directive  to protect wild birds.

In a case originating from a petition to the European Parliament, the Commission asked Spain to implement a judgment of the Court of Justice concerning the Doñana wetlands, to safeguard protected habitats and sustainably manage the groundwater bodies that feed these wetlands. 

Promoting a circular economy

The Commission launched infringement procedures, or pursued them further, against 11 Member States for failing to fully transpose the  Directive on Single-Use Plastics . The Directive aims to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products used for a very short time on the environment and on human health.

On the use of plastic bags, Ireland brought its legislation in line with the Directive on Plastic Bags , as the result of a pre-infringement process initiated by the Commission (EU Pilot). 

On waste treatment, the Commission called on Portugal to improve its practice and correctly apply the Landfill Directive and the Waste Framework Directive .

The circular economy action plan is a core component of the European Green Deal, paving the way for a cleaner and more competitive Europe. It promotes waste recovery and pushes for EU waste management standards to be fully implemented. The Commission’s enforcement of these rules helps reduce adverse effects of waste on human health and the environment.

Climate action

The EU has set itself the goal to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The  European Climate Law established the intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Long-term strategies are crucial for helping to achieve the economic transformation needed towards these climate goals. The Governance Regulation  required Member States to prepare their first long-term strategies  with an outlook of at least 30 years. In 2022, the Commission launched infringement proceedings against Bulgaria , Ireland , Poland and Romania for failing to notify such strategies to the Commission.

Clean energy

Decarbonising the EU’s energy system is critical for achieving the EU’s climate objectives. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian military invasion of Ukraine put this process to the test. The Commission remained determined to implement the Clean Energy for all Europeans package : clean energy is at the heart of the energy transition towards a safe, secure and sustainable energy sector that puts consumers first.

Promoting renewable energy is not only fundamental for the EU’s climate objectives but it also helps stabilise the energy sector by reducing market volatility, lowering energy prices and strengthening the EU’s security of supply. The Renewable Energy Directive  provides the framework for developing renewable energy in the EU, and its enforcement is a priority for the Commission.

As Member States failed to transpose EU rules, the Commission took the next step in its infringement proceedings:

- against   15   Member   States  on the amending Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ;

- against   12   Member   States  on the amending Energy Efficiency Directive ;

- against   15   Member   States  on the Renewable Energy Directive . 

Single market for energy

An integrated EU energy market is the most cost-effective way to ensure secure and affordable energy supplies for people and businesses. Common rules and cross-border infrastructure make it possible for energy produced in one EU country to be delivered to consumers in another. Competition and a larger choice of energy suppliers for consumers keep prices in check. An integrated market also contributes to security of supply and sustainability.

The Commission pursued further the infringement procedure against Germany and Sweden  for failing to transpose the Electricity Directive. It launched procedures against eight Member   States for the same reason.

The Electricity Directive  ensures such competitive markets across country borders for the electricity sector. The pressure on the energy sector in 2022 made it particularly important that the Commission firmly enforced these rules.

Keeping nuclear energy safe

Nuclear energy can play a positive role in meeting climate targets and ensuring energy security, provided that the highest level of nuclear safety and radiation protection are met. The Commission continued to focus on the effective implementation of the Euratom legal framework on nuclear safety, protecting workers, patients and the public from ionising radiation and making sure radioactive waste is handled safely.

The Commission referred Spain , Latvia and Portugal  to the Court of Justice for failing to fully transpose EU radiation protection legislation . It called on Italy to comply with a judgment  by the Court of Justice that found that Italy had not transposed these rules into national legislation. The Commission launched infringement procedures against Belgium and Bulgaria  for having transposed the rules incorrectly.

The Commission took the next step in the procedure against Croatia , Estonia , Italy , Austria , Portugal and Slovenia for failing to adopt appropriate national programmes to manage radioactive waste and spent fuel in line with EU rules . It closed 23 EU Pilot cases on the transposition of the Nuclear Safety Directive after Member States, where necessary, amended or adopted new national rules. The Commission concluded that the transposition in these Member States was correct, contributing to increased nuclear safety.

Clean transport

The transport sector can drive the EU towards meeting its objective on climate neutrality. All modes of transport need to become more sustainable. Green alternatives need to be accessible and the right incentives need to be put in place to drive the transition.

In the road sector, the Clean Vehicles Directive sets national targets for the public procurement of clean vehicles. Specific targets are set for cars and vans, lorries and buses, including an objective for zero-emission buses. To make sure these rules are applied in all Member States, the Commission further pursued its procedure against Bulgaria , Czechia , Cyprus , Hungary and Sweden , which had not turned the rules into national law.

In the maritime sector, the Directive on port reception facilities is designed to prevent sea pollution from ships. It requires that waste generated on board is not thrown into the sea but collected in ports, which must offer appropriate facilities to collect and process waste. The Commission took the next step in the procedures against Cyprus , the Netherlands , Austria , Poland and Sweden for failing to transpose these rules.

Sustainable agriculture ensuring food supply

The EU’s common agricultural policy  ensures food supply in the EU, stabilises markets and helps farmers receive a fair income. The policy also helps address environmental challenges such as climate change and loss of biodiversity.

Hungary introduced a prior notification scheme for cereal exports that made it possible for Hungarian authorities to pre-empt the sale or to purchase the cereals before export takes place. The Commission deemed this scheme incompatible with EU rules on the common organisation of agricultural markets and on common rules for exports. The Commission therefore initiated an infringement procedure against Hungary .

The consequences of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine put the EU’s supply chain, and global food security, under strain. The EU’s common organisation of markets in agricultural products bolstered the EU’s reply to this threat. A resilient and efficient agri-food system ensured that safe, affordable and high-quality food remained available in all Member States. The Commission acted forcefully to avoid any undermining of the common agricultural market. 

The Commission also continued to ensure the correct application of  rules   on financial support   for farmers   applicable in 2022 , as well as other legislation linked to the common agricultural policy’s rules, such as that for i) organic farming , ii)  protecting geographical indications and iii)  prohibiting unfair trading practices in the agricultural and food supply chain The Commission closed infringement cases against 11 Member States as they have fully incorporated these rules to avoid unfair trading practices into national law. However, the Commission identified instances of incorrect transposition; to address them quickly, the Commission launched pre-infringement processes (EU Pilot) with 16 Member States.

Sustainable fisheries and maritime spatial planning

The primary objectives of the EU’s common fisheries policy is to ensure that fishing and aquaculture are sustainable and contribute to the socio-economic development of coastal communities and the availability of food supplies. Bringing fish stocks to healthy levels and maintaining them is at the core of the policy. This is why EU rules restrict fleet capacity and limit catches and fishing activities. To ensure these rules are fully implemented, Member States must put in place appropriate control and enforcement systems.

The Commission therefore focuses its enforcement action on checking that the rules are enforced by Member States. The obligations to accurately weigh, record and report catches were at the centre of its action. Accurate recording of catches is the basis for effective fisheries management, preventing overfishing and reducing unwanted catches. Appropriate sanctioning systems and a harmonised system to share fisheries data between Member States and with the Commission are key. The Commission held pre-infringement dialogues (EU Pilot) with Member States to address problems identified in this respect.

The Commission continued to monitor how the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive was being implemented, especially the obligation to draw up maritime spatial plans. This obligation is designed to promote the sustainable development and use of marine areas and resources Maritime spatial plans can also be an essential tool to facilitate offshore renewable energy deployment. The Commission opened infringement proceedings against Bulgaria and Spain , for lacking such plans.

The Commission followed up on two opened infringements against Belgium and the Netherlands  for failing to control and enforce accurate weighing and registration of catches. The Commission also opened an infringement procedure against Croatia to follow up on identified shortcomings in their control system for bluefin tuna farms. It also closed a case against Malta on bluefin tuna as the Maltese authorities addressed the shortcomings identified.

Member States must also control EU vessels’ fishing activities outside of EU waters and ensure compliance with rules of the common fisheries policy. The Commission further pursued an infringement procedure against France for failing to adequately control part of its external fleet. 

Health and food safety

EU rules on health and food safety aim to secure a high level of protection of human, animal and plant health, safeguarding the interests of consumers. Integrating human, animal and environmental health, as well as food and feed safety, the Commission takes a One Health approach to preparedness and prevention.

Between May 2021 and April 2022, the Commission and Member States worked together to remove a significant number of unsafe kitchen and tableware products from the EU market. This joint enforcement action, called  Bamboo-zling , focused on plastic items containing bamboo, often imported to the EU from non-EU countries. These products, misleadingly presented as natural or sustainable, could provoke migration of cancer-causing substances at levels that exceed limits under EU rules . Many such illegal and fraudulent products were withdrawn from the market.

In addition, to protect human health and contribute to a sustainable food system, the Commission helps Member State enforce legislation, for example, on products placed on the EU market that are in contact with food.

Preventing tobacco-related diseases

Tobacco consumption continues to be the leading cause of preventable cancer, with 27% of all cancers attributed to it. The Tobacco Products Directive  aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for tobacco and related products, while ensuring a high level of health protection for people It generates positive outcomes for public health. In 2022, the Commission continued its work to fully enforce the Directive, supporting the implementation of Europe’s beating cancer plan . It further assessed if national laws transposed the Directive correctly. Dialogue with Member States has also been central in improving the application of the Directive and its implementing acts.

Safer transport

Road transport is the most widely used means of travel by Europeans and a primary cause of accidents. Creating an environment for safe road transport is a high priority for the Commission. The Commission’s enforcement of EU rules and technical standards helps to drive down the number of fatalities caused by road accidents.

In 2022, the Commission continued an infringement procedure against Czechia for failing to correctly transpose EU rules  on the minimum standards of fitness for driving, in relation to cardiovascular conditions. It also continued infringement procedures against Greece , The Netherlands , Poland , Portugal , Slovakia and Slovenia for failing to fully transpose EU law  on road infrastructure safety management. 

In the rail sector, the Commission took the next step in the infringement procedures against Sweden regarding its failure to notify the Commission of transposition measures for the rail interoperability and railway safety rules. These rules are part of the Fourth Railway Package, the implementation of which is a priority for the Commission. On aviation safety, the Commission opened an infringement procedure against Spain for incorrectly applying EU legislation on civil aviation and on civil aviation aircrew .

In the maritime sector, the Commission continued to focus on enforcing EU rules on a minimum level of training for seafarers . In particular, it took further steps in the infringement procedures against Czechia and Cyprus  to ensure that they implement these rules.



A Europe fit for the Digital Age

‘The digital transition needs clear rules. People need to know that they can trust the technology in their hands. Businesses need predictability to plan their investment. And this is exactly why we have come up with the most ambitious agenda for digital reforms and investment in our Union's history.’

President von der Leyen, in her speech at the 'Masters of Digital 2022' event

The Commission is determined to make this decade Europe's ‘Digital Decade’. The EU is determined to set digital standards, with a clear focus on data, technology, and infrastructure. To lead the way in the global race for trustworthy, secure and human-centric technology, Member States must fully and rapidly implement commonly agreed rules. The Commission therefore took swift action against any late transposition of new rules. It also acted firmly to protect the fundamental rights of individuals.

Technology that works for people 

In April 2022, the Commission decided to refer  10 Member States  to the Court of Justice for failing to fully transpose the Code into national law. At the same time, during 2022, the Commission closed infringement procedures against eight Member States as they had completed transposition. Eventually, only Ireland, Latvia, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia had not notified transposition measures and were referred to the Court with a request to impose financial sanctions.

The 2020 European Electronic Communications Code is a central building block of the Digital Single Market, as it boosts connectivity and better protects consumers throughout Europe. It ensures clearer contracts, quality of services and competitive markets.

A fair and competitive digital economy

The Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market and the  Directive on online television and radio programmes  modernise the EU’s copyright rules for consumers and creators, so they can make the most of the digital world. They protect rights-holders, stimulating the creation and circulation of more high-value content. They bring greater choice of content for users by lowering transaction costs and facilitating the distribution of radio and television programmes across the EU.

The Commission pursued further infringement procedures against 14 Member   States for failing to transpose the Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market and against 11 Member   States  for failing to transpose the Directive on online television and radio programmes. 

In a case brought by Poland against the European Parliament and the Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union  confirmed  the validity of Article 17 of the Copyright Directive. This article prohibits platforms from displaying unlicensed copyrighted content on behalf of their users. Member States are therefore required to implement the article in national law.

Promoting the data economy

The Open Data Directive aims to make more of the data produced and funded by the public sector available for reuse by anyone for any new purpose. It stimulates the development of data-intensive innovations such as weather or mobility apps. It increases transparency by opening access to publicly funded research data, and supports new technologies, including artificial intelligence.

In 2022, the Commission took the next step in the infringement procedures against 12 Member   States  for failing to transpose the Directive into national law. At the same time, infringement proceedings against eight Member States were closed as they had notified complete transposition to the Commission.

An open, democratic and sustainable digital society

The revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive governs EU-wide coordination of all audiovisual media, both traditional TV broadcasts and on-demand services. Its rules aim to create a regulatory framework fit for the digital age, leading to a safer, fairer and more diverse audiovisual landscape. 

The Commission continued to enforce the Directive as a matter of priority in 2022. It was able to close cases against seven Member States as they transposed the Directive. However, this was not the case for  Ireland , which the Commission had to refer to the Court of Justice.

The Commission decided to refer  Hungary  to the Court of Justice over how it assigns radio spectrum rights. The Commission considered the decision by the Hungarian Media Council to refuse renewal of a radio station’s rights to be disproportionate and non-transparent and is therefore in breach of EU law. The Commission also argued that through its conduct, Hungary had also violated the freedom of speech as enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Making it possible for media service providers to work freely and independently everywhere in the EU lies at the heart of media pluralism.  EU telecommunication rules  set out that media service providers must be able to access the market under non-discriminatory, objectively justified and proportionate terms, and under conditions known in advance.

Protection for consumers and companies

EU rules provide for a high level of protection for consumers when purchasing goods, digital content and digital services within the single market.

The Better Enforcement and Modernisation Directive  has strengthened existing rules. It increased transparency in the digital environment and in price reduction announcements. It also strengthened penalties and remedies in the case of breaches of consumer law. The new rules increase legal certainty for both consumers and traders. The Commission launched infringement procedures against 22 Member States for not transposing the Directive on time. Eight of these cases could already be closed later in 2022.

The Digital Content Directive and the Sale of Goods Directive apply to consumer contracts concluded since 1 January 2022. In 2022, the Commission took the next step in the infringement procedures against Poland , Slovenia and Slovakia for failing to fully turn these EU rules into national legislation. As a result of the Commission’s enforcement actions, all Member States except Slovakia had notified full transposition of these rules by the end of 2022. This has improved protection for consumers when purchasing goods or digital content from any Member State and increased legal certainty for businesses.

Accessible products, services and websites

The European Accessibility Act  seeks to establish common rules for accessible products and services in the EU, leading to cost reductions. Persons with disabilities and elderly people will benefit from more accessible products and services in the market.

The Commission opened 24 infringement procedures  as Member States failed to transpose these rules by the deadline. The Commission also continued its support to Member States on their efforts to finalise the transposition by organising workshops with national administrations.

The  Web Accessibility Directive requires public bodies’ websites and mobile applications to be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities and older people. For example, these sites and apps must have an accessibility statement providing contacts for feedback and complaints in case of inaccessible content.

The Commission published its  assessment  of the impact and the implementation of the Directive, including easy to read summaries. The findings show the Directive was designed and implemented efficiently and improved access to online public services and information inside the EU, strengthening social and digital inclusion. The results also revealed practical progress still to be made for all public sector websites and mobile applications, if they are to be fully accessible to people with disabilities and older people.

Allowing the single market to increase growth

The incorrect or incomplete application of EU rules continues to create barriers within the single market. This comes at a cost for businesses and consumers. The misapplication of rules creates complexity and administrative burdens and distorts competition, undermining the level playing field for businesses across the EU.

Enforcement action has also focused on those cross-cutting areas with a potential to ease investment to speed up the recovery across different economic ecosystems, such as in the area of services, including professions, free movement of goods and public procurement.

To ensure that public authorities pay in time for the goods and services they procure, the Commission acted firmly against two Member States: it pursued further the infringement procedure against Greece  on persistent shortcomings in the health sector. And it called on Italy to comply with the judgment of the Court of Justice that had confirmed Italy’s violation of EU law by paying late. Following efforts made to align its verification procedure with the Late Payments Directive, the Commission closed another infringement procedure against Italy.

The Commission also continued its enforcement efforts so that public authorities pay on time for the goods and services they procure, avoiding cascading delays in payments along the supply chain, notably in the health sector. The Commission proactively monitors progress as regards Belgium, Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Slovakia, which still fail to meet the targets of the Late Payments Directive . 

The Commission took the next step in the procedure against Hungary for limiting exports of construction materials. The Commission also launched a procedure against Hungary for imposing higher fuel prices on vehicles with non-Hungarian number plates compared to the vehicles registered in Hungary. At the end of 2022, Hungary put an end to this breach.

The Commission also stayed vigilant to counter export restrictions by Member States in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. Swift and firm enforcement action by the Commission meant that the single market kept functioning.

Transparent information about and for businesses

With an increasing number of businesses operating across borders, having easy access to information on companies in different Member States is crucial. EU legislation requires Member States to link their national business registers with the business registers interconnection system (BRIS). It facilitates cross-border operations and makes procedures less costly and time-consuming for companies. It enables individuals, businesses and entrepreneurs to get information on companies. EU rules also introduced digital tools and processes in company law. Entrepreneurs can now create limited liability companies online.

In 2022, the Commission opened infringement procedures against 10 Member States for failing to turn the Company Law Digitalisation Directive into national law in time. As a result of the Commission’s swift enforcement action on these and other cases, 19 Member States had completed transposition of the rules by the end of 2022. The Commission also closed an infringement procedure against Bulgaria as it had completed the connection of its business register to the business registers interconnection system (BRIS).

Digital transport systems

Digitalisation can make transport safer, more efficient and more sustainable. Information and communication technologies offer new opportunities to all modes of passenger and freight transport. Moreover, integrating existing technologies into new technologies can create new services.

For example, for road transport, the European Electronic Tolling Service Directive ensures that tolling services are interoperable across roads in the EU. Road users benefit as they can pay tolls throughout the EU with only one subscription contract with one service provider and a single on-board unit. The Commission enforced the Directive through several infringement procedures.

On electronic tolling, the Commission opened infringement procedures against Germany ,  Italy and Finland for failing to fully transpose EU rules. It pursued other infringement cases against  11   Member   States in this area. 

On data link services, the Commission referred Greece, Malta and Slovakia to the Court of Justice for failing to provide and operate these services for aircrafts flying within the airspace under their responsibility.

On aviation safety, data link services are communications between aircraft and ground staff that complement the voice communication traditionally used in air traffic control. The Commission closed its infringement procedures against France and Cyprus in this area. Compliance brings concrete benefits to the public: as voice communication channels become increasingly congested, data link services make pilot-controller communication more efficient, thereby accommodating increases in air traffic levels within Europe.

An economy that works for people

‘Our social market economy encourages everyone to excel, but it also takes care of our fragility as human beings.’

President von der Leyen, in her 2022 State of the Union Address

People and businesses in the EU can only thrive if the economy works for them. The EU’s unique social market economy helps economies grow while tackling poverty and inequality. Incomplete implementation or incorrect application of commonly agreed rules undermines the potential of our economies and burdens small and medium-sized enterprises. This also weakens the rights of consumers and workers. The Commission enforced EU law across a wide range of policies to tackle these risks.

Working conditions

Fair and dignified working conditions are a key component of Europe’s social market economy. The EU has adopted minimum standards that apply across Member States on working time , part-time and fixed-term work , and  temporary agency work . In 2022, the Commission took a number of actions to enforce these rules. It opened infringement cases against 19 Member States  for failing to transpose EU rules on transparent and predictable working conditions in due time. Following a complaint, the Commission also took action against Ireland  concerning its enforcement of workers’ rights under the European Works Council Directive , which aims to ensure that staff working for companies operating across the EU have the right to be informed and consulted on transnational issues. 

Health and safety at work

The EU has developed an extensive body of rules on health and safety at work to ensure a high level of protection for workers. Healthy and safe working conditions lead to a healthy and productive workforce. The Commission’s enforcement measures focused on the timely transposition of EU occupational health and safety rules into national legislation. The Commission closed 19 infringement procedures, as Member States had transposed the relevant directives. These rules concerned updates of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive ,