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Commission slams tardy Belgium

Published on 13/01/2004


13 January 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgium is taking far too long to turn EU single market rules into national law, the European Commission has said.

The EU’s single market is supposed to make it easier for companies and individuals to do business anywhere they want to within the European Union.

But despite the fact that the system was supposed to have been completed over a decade ago, many obstacles to free trade inside the EU still exist today. These usually take the form of national laws that discriminate against people or companies from other European Union countries.

At the end of November 2003, Belgium still had to turn 54 separate EU rules designed to end these kinds of anomalies into national law.
The situation means Belgium is one of the EU’s two worst offenders when it comes to respecting single market rules.

France is the Union’s other black sheep. It too still has to transpose 54 European laws while Germany, Luxembourg, Greece and Italy are not doing much better. Berlin has 53 non-transposed EU rules, Luxembourg 52, Athens 48 and Rome 46.

“It is disappointing that some member states appear to consider that it is acceptable to regularly implement directives late and to incorrectly apply commonly agreed rules,” complained the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner Fritz Bolkestein on Monday.

“This is unfair to those member states that do get laws on to their statute books on time and then apply them properly,” he continued, adding “Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Greece and Italy simply need to do a lot better.”

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
                                           Subject: Belgian news