European Commission starts infringement proceedings again

The European Commission has formally opened new infringement procedures in three cases against the Netherlands and seven other EU countries. This time, a letter of formal notice, as the first step of the EU infringement procedure, was sent to Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, France, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland. 

Those eight countries are said to have still not properly incorporated a 2014 EU Directive for admitting foreign seasonal workers into their national laws. By the way, new agreements were made about this in Brussels just last week.

In April, the committee had already sent letters of warning about this to ten other EU countries. The Netherlands and the seven other countries now have two months to take measures. If that fails, the infringement procedure can proceed to the next stage: a reasoned opinion, a formal request to comply with the EU law. 

The case can then be referred to the Court of Justice, where Member States could face a fine. 

Brussels initiates dozens of these types of procedures every quarter: it is their formal procedure to maintain control over the introduction of European laws and regulations. The vast majority of infringement cases are settled in official consultations, or sometimes supplemented with a minor textual adjustment. At most in a few cases, legal proceedings are actually initiated.

This time, the Netherlands was also addressed about the way in which the waste directive on reuse and collection had not been correctly processed, as well as the directive on goods transport in rented small trucks. Other countries were contacted for other deficiencies, whether alleged or otherwise.