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PR(07)02: Internal Market Scoreboard for the EEA EFTA States – February 2007

1.2.2007

The EFTA Surveillance Authority today publishes its 19th Internal Market Scoreboard for the EEA EFTA States Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.[1]

Today’s edition of the EEA EFTA Scoreboard shows that the average transposition deficit of the EEA EFTA States decreased slightly, to 1.4% from 1.5% six months ago.

  • Norway’s transposition deficit went up to 0.7% from 0.6%. Norway now ranks 7th (down from 2nd) out of the 28 EEA States.
  • Iceland’s transposition deficit decreased to coincide with the interim target of 1.5%. Iceland is now placed 21st (down from 17th) out of the 28 EEA States.
  • Liechtenstein has decreased its transposition deficit to 1.9%, but still remains above the 1.5% interim target and ends up as number 24 (down from 22) out of the 28 EEA States.

The number of infringement proceedings initiated by the Authority against the EEA EFTA States increased slightly. 43 cases are currently pending against Norway, 40 cases against Iceland, and 34 cases against Liechtenstein.

Published biannually, the Scoreboard mainly monitors how well the EEA EFTA States transpose Internal Market directives into national legislation. Correct and timely implementation and application 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.

The Authority’s Scoreboard is issued in parallel with the European Commission’s Internal Market Scoreboard, which provides similar information for the EU Member States.

The following paragraphs summarise the Scoreboard results per EEA EFTA State.

Iceland

Compared to half a year ago, Iceland decreased its transposition deficit to 1.5% (from 1.8%) by reducing its backlog of outstanding directives by five directives. This means that Iceland is again within the 1.5% interim target and now takes 21st place out of the 28 EEA States (down from 17th six months ago). Iceland’s average transposition delay increased to 9 months from 7.20 months. Iceland is less than a year late with the majority of its overdue directives. Two directives[2], however, are delayed by more than two years.

The rise in infringement cases against Iceland as seen in the previous period came to a hault: Iceland has just one more infringement case open against it than six months ago, 40 in total. The number of letters of formal notice sent to Iceland went up by 10, while Iceland has 7 fewer cases at reasoned-opinion stage. 19 cases are due to non-implementation of directives and 21 due to non-conformity with or incorrect application of EEA rules. Of the 21 cases, 17 concern delays in incorporation of regulations into the Icelandic legal order. None of the infringement cases result from a complaint against Iceland. Neither does Iceland have any cases pending against it before the EFTA Court. Iceland resolves infringement cases, on average, in 13 months.

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein decreased its transposition deficit compared to six months ago to 1.9% (down from 2.1) by reducing its backlog of outstanding directives by four. However, the deficit remains well above the interim target of 1.5%. Liechtenstein now ranks as 24th out of the 28 EEA States (down from 22nd). Liechtenstein’s average transposition delay increased from 9.10 months to 10.5 months. Half of Liechtenstein’s overdue directives are delayed by more than a year. Furthermore, Liechtenstein has two directives[3]which are overdue by more than two years. One of these, the Directive on Environmental Noise, has prompted an infringement action before the EFTA Court[4]in December 2006.

The total number of infringement cases against Liechtenstein went up, with one additional non-transposition case, to 34 cases. Of these, 24 cases concern non-implementation of directives.[5]The remaining 10 cases are due to non-conformity with or incorrect application of EEA rules. Two of the infringement cases result from complaints. Liechtenstein resolves infringement cases, on average, in 12 months.

Norway

Compared to six months ago, Norway’s transposition deficit increased to 0.7% (up from 0.6%) due to three more outstanding directives. Still remaining well below the interim target, Norway now ranks 7th among the 28 EEA States (down from 2nd). Norway’s average transposition delay decreased to 5.33 months from 6.43 months. Of Norway’s non-implemented directives, all but one are delayed by less than a year.

The number of infringement cases against Norway went up from 39 to 43 compared to six months ago. This increase is due to eight new non-transposition cases having been opened against Norway since then, while there are four fewer cases, 35 in total, against Norway concerning non-conformity with or incorrect application of EEA rules. Out of these 35 cases, 27 are based on complaints (30 cases six months ago). Six infringement cases against Norway have prompted two infringement actions before the EFTA Court. These cases concern the introduction by Norway of a monopoly on the operation of gaming machines[6]and the Norwegian law on acquisition of waterfalls. Norway resolves infringement cases, on average, in 25 months.


For further information, please contact:
Ms. Tuula Nieminen
Deputy Director, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 67


[1] The figures in the Scoreboard reflect the situation on 11 November 2006 for directives which should have been transposed on or before 31 October 2006 and the situation on 31 October 2006 for infringement cases.

[2] The Directive Adapting the “Dangerous Substances Directive” to Technical Progress (2000/33/EC) and the Directive on Emission of Pollutants from Machinery Engines (2002/88/EC).

[3] The Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (2001/42/EC) and the Environmental Noise Directive (2002/49/EC), EFTA Court case E-6/06.

[4] See footnote 2.

[5] Five of Liechtenstein’s open non-transposition cases were ruled upon by the EFTA Court on 29 June, joined cases E-5/6/7/8/9/05.

[6] This Court case, E-1/06, is based on five separate infringement cases pending before the Authority.

1 February 2007

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