The European Commission today has referred Spain, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden to the Court of Justice of the European Union over their failure to fully transpose and communicate to the Commission how national measures transpose the EU Electronic Communications Code.
At work, at home or on the move, Europeans expect an internet connection that is fast and reliable. The Code modernises EU telecoms rules to the benefit of consumers and the industry by stimulating competition, driving investments, strengthening the internal market and consumer rights.
Following the transposition deadline of the EU Electronic Communications Code on 21 December 2020, the Commission opened 24 infringement procedures by sending letters of formal notice on 4 February 2021, and sent reasoned opinions on 23 September 2021 to 18 Member States. To date, the Member States listed above have still not fulfilled their obligations under the Code to communicate to the Commission their national transposition measures, and as a result, the Commission has referred these cases to the Court.
Under Article 260(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), if a Member State fails to transpose a Directive adopted by the European Parliament and the Council into national law within the required deadline, the Commission may call on the Court of Justice of the European Union to impose financial sanctions.
The European Electronic Communications Code brings the regulatory framework governing the European telecom sector up to date with the new challenges. It came into force in December 2018 and Member States had two years to implement its rules. It is a central piece of legislation to achieve Europe’s Gigabit society and to ensure full participation of all EU citizens in the digital economy and society.
To support Member States in transposing the Directive into national law, the Commission has been monitoring the transposition process and providing them with extensive guidance and assistance. Furthermore, the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) has developed and published guidelines to work towards the successful implementation of the new rules.