4th Jul 2022

Denmark and Malta top internal market scoreboard

Denmark and Malta came joint top of a European Commission league table published on Thursday (19 February) that measures member state success in transposing internal market directives into national law.

Internal Market commissioner Charlie McCreevy congratulated the two countries on their good performance.

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  • Tiny Malta has an "enviable transposition record," said internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy (Photo: European Commission)

"Denmark and Malta deserve a special praise. They share first place and managed to further improve on an already enviable transposition record," said Mr McCreevy.

Both countries fell just 5 directives, or 0.3 per cent of the total, short of a perfect transposition rate. The EU average failure rate was 1 percent, in line with targets set for 2009.

At the other end of the table are Poland and Luxembourg with a 2 and 2.2 percent failure rate, respectively. In total, 14 member states achieved or equalled their best results so far.

The scoreboard is intended to highlight different member state success rates and in doing so, speed up the transfer of EU directives into national law and help bring down trade barriers.

Despite the relative success in transposing the internal market directives, member states are less successful in applying the rules in practice, said the commission.

The new figures show that the average number of cases of misapplication of internal market rules has risen to 49 per member state with the commission saying that these cases frequently take too long to resolve.

Romania had 13 infringement proceedings being taken against it on 1 November 2008. At the other end of the scale Italy had 112.

Out of the five worst performing member countries in terms of timely transposition (Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Poland and Luxembourg), three (Greece, Portugal, Poland) have also increased their number of infringement proceedings.

The report says that enlargement has been a major factor behind further integration within the internal market, with most of the new member states being very open to imports and direct investment from other EU countries.

It also noted that intra-EU trade in goods is much more developed across member states (accounting for 16.9% of GDP in 2007) than intra-EU trade in services (5% of GDP), highlighting this as an area for future integration.

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