Infringement proceedings against Estonia mounting

Estonian and EU flags.
Estonian and EU flags. Source: Stenbock House/Council of the European Union

The number of European Commission infringement cases against Estonia has been growing steadily over the last four years, while Estonia remains one of the most diligent adopters of EU law.

By late last year, 49 infringement proceedings were pending for Estonia. This was 39 in 2020, 30 in late 2019 and 27 in 2018, a European Commission overview reveals. Infringement proceedings are brought against member states that have failed to adopt EU legislation in a timely fashion.

Infringement cases open at year-end 2017 - 2021 Source: European Commission

Last year, 28 new infringement cases were brought against Estonia, with 23 new cases launched in 2020 and 24 in 2019.

In 2021, the Commission opened 23 new late transposition cases against Estonia for failure to timely transpose directives.

Six infringement proceedings were brought in the field of financial stability, financial services and capital markets, five concerning justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, four infringement cases were launched in the field of communication networks, content and technology, finally three cases each in the fields of mobility and transport and environment.

Estonia among the top three most diligent

At the same time, Estonia remains one of the countries with the fewest EU infringement cases. Denmark had the fewest open infringement cases in late 2021 at 31, followed by Finland on 48 and Estonia on 49. After Estonia come Lithuania, Malta and the Netherlands. Spain (105), Italy (102), Greece (102), Poland (92) and Belgium (91) have highest number of open infringement cases.

The total number of EU infringement proceedings fell from 903 to 874 from 2020.

The European Commission, tasked with monitoring compliance with EU rules, has the power to launch infringement proceedings against member states that it finds fail to observe EU legal acts.

Member states have two months to reply to the Commission's memorandums that will be followed by a reasoned opinion o a formal request to comply with EU law if the Commission concludes the member state is not observing obligations. If the member state stills fails to comply, the Commission can forward cases to the European Court of Justice.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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