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PR(02)06: The EFTA Surveillance Authority sends two Reasoned Opinions to Liechtenstein and one to Iceland for failure to implement EEA law


On 18 March 2002 the Authority sent a Reasoned Opinion to Liechtenstein arising from its failure to implement Council Directive 96/47/EC amending Directive 91/439/EEC on driving licences. Liechtenstein was obliged to bring into force the Directive by 1 January 2000. As no information had been received from Liechtenstein indicating that they had adopted the national measures to implement the Act, a letter of formal notice was sent to Liechtenstein 17 October 2000. In a letter, received by the Authority on 20 December 2000, Liechtenstein informed that, due to technical difficulties encountered in connection with the introduction of the new credit card driving licence, the implementation would be delayed until Spring 2001. In Summer 2001, the Authority was informed that the adoption of the necessary legislative measures had been delayed again until the end of 2001.

On 13 March 2002, the Authority sent a reasoned opinion to Liechtenstein due to that country’s failure to notify implementation of the Electronic Signatures Directive (1999/93/EC).  According to the Directive, the EFTA States were obliged to transpose it into national law by 19 June 2001. As Liechtenstein had not provided the Authority with any information about its transposition of the Directive, the Authority sent a letter of formal notice on 31 October 2001.  Liechtenstein then informed the Authority that a Government Bill on a new Electronic Signatures Act was being drafted, and that this Act would ensure transposition of the Directive.  Entry into force of this Act is however not foreseen until late 2002.  The purpose of the Electronic Signatures Directive is to facilitate the use of electronic signatures and to contribute to their legal recognition, and is considered an important measure in the efforts to promote e-commerce in Europe.

On 21 February 2002, the Authority sent a Reasoned Opinion to Iceland arising from its failure to fully implement Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work.  The Directive provides the central framework for several individual Directives providing in more detail for measures to improve health and safety of workers. To this end it contains general principles concerning the prevention of occupational risks, the protection of safety and health, the elimination of risk and accident factors, the informing, consultation, balanced participation in accordance with national laws and/or practices and training of workers and their representatives, as well as general guidelines for the implementation of the said principles.

Iceland was to bring into force and to notify the necessary measures to comply with the Act by 1 January 1994. In 1996, the Government notified measures considered to ensure full compliance with the Act. Upon examination of the notified measures, the Authority concluded that the Directive was only partially implemented, whereas substantial parts of the Act needed still to be transposed. The Authority started formal infringement proceedings against Iceland in December 1998.

For further information, please contact Mr. Jonas Jonsson, Director (tel. (02) 286.18.60)

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