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PR(06)33: Internal Market Scoreboard for the EFTA States – July 2006

14.7.2006

The EFTA Surveillance Authority today publishes its 18th Internal Market Scoreboard for the EFTA States.[1]

The EFTA States' average transposition deficit is 1.5%, down slightly from 1.6% six months earlier, and thereby coincides with the interim ceiling of 1.5%. This positive development is mainly due to Norway having reduced its transposition backlog.

  • Norway improves its transposition deficit to 0.6% (from 0.8%). Norway now ranks number 2 (up from 4) out of the 28 EEA States.
  • Iceland's transposition deficit has improved from 1.9% to 1.8% and is now placed 17th out of the EEA 28.
  • Liechtenstein has not succeeded in reducing its deficit from six months ago and still stands at 2.1%, ending up as number 22 out of the EEA 28.

The delay in transposing directives is on average 9.10 months for Liechtenstein, 7.20 months for Iceland and 6.43 months for Norway, comparing to an EU average of 8 months.

The number of infringement proceedings initiated by the Authority against the EFTA States has decreased slightly. 39 cases are open against Norway (down from 50 six months ago) and Iceland (up from 30) respectively, while 33 cases are open against Liechtenstein (down from 36).

Correct and timely implementation of common rules by the 28 EEA States is essential to ensure that the rights of their citizens and businesses can be enjoyed in full. The EEA Agreement extends the Internal Market of the European Union to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Published biannually, the Scoreboard measures how well the EFTA States  transpose Internal Market rules and principles, laid down in directives, into national legislation. The Report is issued in parallel with the European Commission's Internal Market Scoreboard, which provides similar information for the 25 EU Member States.

The following paragraphs summarise the Scoreboard results per EFTA country.

Iceland

Compared to half a year ago, Iceland has improved its transposition deficit slightly to 1.8% (from 1.9%) by reducing its backlog of outstanding directives with one directive. This means that Iceland is still significantly above the 1.5% interim ceiling. With only one exception (May 2003), Iceland managed for the period November 2001 until one year ago to keep its deficit below 1.5%. Iceland now takes 17th place (up from 22nd six months ago) out of the 28 EEA States. Iceland's average transposition delay has improved to 7.20 months from 7.98 months. Around half of Iceland's overdue directives are delayed less than six months, however one Directive[2] is delayed more than two years.

The number of infringement cases against Iceland has gone up 30% to 39 since six months ago. In the same period, the number of cases at reasoned opinion stage has more than doubled. 21 of Iceland's cases (54%) are due to non-conformity or incorrect application (i.e. cases based on problems other than non-transposition of directives).

Out of these, 15 cases (71%) relate to delays in incorporating regulations into its internal legal order. Only one of the 39 cases is based on a complaint. On 30 April, Iceland had no cases pending against it with the EFTA Court.

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein has the same transposition deficit now compared to six months ago, 2.1%, while it has added two directives to its backlog of outstanding directives. Hence, Liechtenstein is still significantly above the 1.5% interim ceiling; in fact, only at two occasions has Liechtenstein been below 1.5%: in May and November 2003. Liechtenstein now ranks 22nd out of the 28 EEA States (up from 23rd). Liechtenstein's average transposition delay has deteriorated from 8.31 months to 9.10 months. Out of the 10 directives overdue by one to two years, five concern the Electronic Communication Regulatory Package, which has not been implemented by Liechtenstein. These five cases have prompted infringement actions with the EFTA Court[3].

The number of infringement cases against Liechtenstein has gone down 6% to 33 since six months ago. The 33 cases is made up of 23 transposition-related cases (70%) and 10 cases due to non-conformity or incorrect application. Two of the latter cases are based on complaints.

Norway

Compared to six months ago, Norway has improved its transposition deficit, which is now 0.6% (down from 0.8%), by reducing its backlog of outstanding directives with four. Norway has succeeded in staying below the 1.5% interim ceiling for the last four consecutive years. Out of the 28 EEA States, Norway now takes 2nd place (up from 4th place six months ago). Norway's average transposition delayhas improved to 6.43 months from 7.61 months. No directives are delayed more than a year.

The number of infringement cases against Norway has gone down 22% to 39 since six months ago. This decrease is mainly due to the fact that Norway has managed to close all of the nine non-transposition cases which were open against it at the time of the last Scoreboard, so that all Norway's cases are now due to non-conformity or incorrect application. Out of the infringement cases against Norway, 30 (77%) are based on complaints from undertakings or citizens.

On 30 April 2006, there were two cases pending against Norway with the EFTA Court.


[1] The figures in the Scoreboard reflect the situation as of  31 May 2006.

[2] Commission Directive 2000/33/EC of 25 April 2000 adapting to technical progress for the 27th time Council Directive 67/548/EEC on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances.

[3] The EFTA Court ruled on this matter on 29 June (joined cases E-5/6/7/8/9/05) and found that Liechtenstein had failed to fulfil its obligations under the electronic communication regulatory package and Article 7 of the EEA Agreement, as the package had not been fully implemented in national law.

 

For further information, please contact:
Mr Tor Arne Solberg-Johansen
Press & Information Officer, Legal & Executive Affairs
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
Mobile tel. (+32)(0)475 81 37 59

18 July 2006




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