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Representation in Malta
News article23 May 2024Representation in Malta5 min read

May infringements package: key decisions

Justice

Overview by policy area

In its regular package of infringement decisions, the European Commission pursues legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. These decisions, covering various sectors and EU policy areas, aim to ensure the proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses.

The key decisions taken by the Commission are presented below and grouped by policy area. The Commission is also closing 74 cases in which the issues with the Member States concerned have been solved without the Commission needing to pursue the procedure further.

For more information on the EU infringement procedure, see the full Q&A. For more detail on the history of a case, you can consult the infringement decisions' register.

1. Environment and fisheries

(For more information: Adalbert Jahnz – Tel.: +32 229 53156, Maëlys Dreux – Tel.: +32 229 54673

Letters of formal notice 

The Commission calls on HUNGARY and MALTA to ensure broad access to justice in environmental matters
The European Commission decided to open infringement procedures by sending letters of formal notice to Hungary (INFR(2024)2011) and Malta (INFR(2024)2052) for failing to fully implement the requirements of the Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters (Aarhus Convention). National law must be clear and precise regarding the possibility of challenging environmental acts before the courts. The Commission is committed to promoting environmental laws and to ensure that they are widely understood, respected, and enforced. To this end, a very important element is to ensure that citizens and civil society can ask the national courts to verify legal compliance. In its national legislation, Hungary does not ensure the right to challenge before a court all decisions or omissions of national authorities in the following environmental policy areas: nature protection, water management, air quality, waste management, industrial emissions, and noise protection. In the case of Malta, members of the public, such as environmental NGOs, have a limited right to access courts in three identified policy areas: nature, waste management and water policy. The Commission is therefore sending letters of formal notice to Hungary and Malta, which now have two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue reasoned opinions.

 

4. Energy and climate

(For more information: Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602; Giulia Bedini – Tel. +32 229 58661)

Letters of formal notice

The Commission calls on BULGARIA, GREECE, LITHUANIA, MALTA, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA and SLOVENIA to comply with their obligations as regards energy-efficient buildings
The European Commission decided to open an infringement procedure by sending letters of formal notice to Bulgaria (INFR(2024)2083), Greece (INFR(2024)2079), Lithuania (INFR(2024)2082), Malta (INFR(2024)2081), Portugal (INFR(2024)2077), Romania (INFR(2024)2078) and Slovenia (INFR(2024)2080) to remind them of their obligations regarding the communication to the Commission of their third cost-optimal report under EU rules on the energy performance of buildings (Directive 2010/31/EU). Member States have to set minimum energy performance requirements for buildings to achieve the best combination between investments and savings, also known as 'cost-optimal levels'. Calculating the cost-optimal levels is key for Member States to fully exploit the energy efficiency and renewable energy potential of the national buildings stock and to avoid people and businesses spending more money than necessary on efficiency improvements to their housing and offices. The Commission is therefore sending letters of formal notice to the concerned Member States, which now have two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.

8. Digital economy

(For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615, Thomas Regnier - Tel.: +32 2 299 10 99)

Letters of formal notice

Commission calls on 18 Member States to comply with the EU Data Governance Act
Today, the European Commission decided to open infringement procedures by sending a letter of formal notice to 18 Member States - Belgium (INFR(2024)2055), Czechia (INFR(2024)2057), Germany (INFR(2024)2060), Estonia (INFR(2024)2058), Greece (INFR(2024)2061), France (INFR(2024)2059), Italy (INFR(2024)2062), Cyprus (INFR(2024)2056), Latvia (INFR(2024)2064), Luxembourg (INFR(2024)2063), Malta (INFR(2024)2065), Austria (INFR(2024)2054), Poland (INFR(2024)2066), Portugal (INFR(2024)2067), Romania (INFR(2024)2068), Slovenia (INFR(2024)2070), Slovakia (INFR(2024)2071) and Sweden (INFR(2024)2069 that did not designate the responsible authorities to implement the Data Governance Act, or that have failed to prove that the latter are empowered to perform the tasks required by the Act. The Data Governance Act facilitates data sharing across sectors and EU countries for the benefit of citizens and businesses. It will increase trust in data sharing by establishing rules for neutrality of data intermediaries that connect individuals and companies with data users. Data intermediation activities have to be strictly independent of any other services that they provide, be registered and can be identified by a common EU logo. The Act will also facilitate the reuse of certain data held by the public sector and stimulate voluntary sharing of data. Data altruism allows citizens to give their consent to make available data that they generate for the common good, for example for medical research projects. Data altruism organisations can decide to be included in a public register and use the common EU logo. They must have a not-for-profit character and meet transparency requirements as well as offer specific safeguards to protect the rights and interests of citizens and companies that decide to share their data. Applicable since 24 September 2023, the responsible authorities are in charge of the registration of data altruism organisations and of monitoring the compliance of data intermediation services providers. The Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice to the 18 Member States concerned which now have 2 months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.

Details

Publication date
23 May 2024
Author
Representation in Malta