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Single Market Scoreboard


Reporting period:

12/2020 – 12/2021

This report takes into account all transposition notifications made by 10 December 2021 for directives with a transposition deadline on or before 30 November 2021. As of that date, 997 directives and 5669 regulations were in force to ensure the functioning of the single market. All comparisons are made with the figures for 10 December 2020, the previous reporting date.

Single market legislation can only achieve its intended effects if the provisions under the relevant Directives are completely and correctly implemented in Member States’ national laws by the deadline set out in these directives.

Monitoring transposition helps make the single market work by ensuring that single market rules are implemented properly in Member States.

Such monitoring shows the transposition deficit (the gap between the number of single market directives adopted by the EU and the number of directives transposed by each Member State) and the conformity deficit (the percentage of those directives incorrectly transposed). It highlights what Member States are doing to ensure that single market law is implemented correctly and, by doing so, encourages them to improve their performance.

Transposition and the single market – why does it matter?

Incorrect transposition, implementation and application of EU rules creates barriers to a smooth functioning single market. Delays or gaps in transposition deprive people and businesses of the benefits stemming from the agreed rules, sometimes even for years.

The December 2016 Communication on EU Law: Better results through better application pointed to the need to strengthen compliance assessment (the effective assessment of the completeness and conformity of national measures implementing EU law). For cases brought to the Court of Justice under Article 260(3) on the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Commission now systematically asks the Court to impose a lump sum as well as a periodic penalty payment on Member States that do not communicate their transposition measures. This aligns the approach to other infringement cases that can result in financial sanctions. This clearly shows the Commission’s determination to ensure fast transposition.

In its judgment of 8 July 2019 in Case C-543/17, Commission v Belgium, the Court of Justice clarified the scope of Article 260(3) TFEU by stating that its sanction mechanism may also be applied in case of a partial failure to adopt and to communicate the transposition measures. In this context, the Court refers to the obligation of Member States to not only notify transposition measures as such but also to supply sufficiently clear and precise information as to which provisions of national law transpose which provisions of a directive (for further information on the outcome of the judgment in Case C-543/17, see “More information).

It is up to each Member State to implement the obligations under the EU directives in an accurate and timely way. The March 2020 Long-term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules – the so-called enforcement action plan highlights that the single market is built on EU law and is at the heart of the European project. It has fuelled economic growth and has made life easier for European consumers and businesses. However, timely and correct transposition of single market rules remains a challenge.

To support Member States more effectively in transposing directives and prevent creating new barriers to the single market, the Commission (in its Better Regulation Guidelines of November 2021) proposed implementation strategies to assist Member States and to monitor the transposition of new directives. These strategies identify the challenges that Member States face during the implementation process and explain support actions the Commission can provide to Member States. These actions include preparing guidance documents, organising expert groups and workshops, creating dedicated websites, and promoting training for practitioners.

Key messages

  • On transposing single market-related directives, 5 Member States (Germany, Cyprus, Hungary, Slovenia and Finland) performed above the EU average and 12 Member States were around the EU average. 10 Member States were below the EU average: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Romania and Sweden. The national authorities of these 10 countries must devote more attention and sufficient resources to implementing the single market body of law.
  • The average transposition deficit grew to 1.6% (+67%), while the average conformity deficit is 1.3% (-7%). The average transposition delay increased by 16% to 8.6 months (it was 7.4 months in 2020).
  • Further efforts are needed to reduce the number of EU directives that are transposed by Member States incorrectly or with delays. This will help the single market contribute to the economic recovery of the EU and consolidate EU’s resilience and competitiveness. The Long-term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules includes specific actions that should increase the co-operative mechanisms and procedures supporting Member States’ efforts towards improved compliance. The Better Regulation Guidelines of November 2021 proposes implementation strategies to assist Member States and monitors the transposition of new directives.

Overall performance


A Member State’s performance across all transposition indicators is calculated by scoring each of the 5 indicators listed in the Performance indicators table below as follows:     
RED = -1, YELLOW = 0 and GREEN = +1.

The colours on the map represent the sum of these scores:

  • green: 2 or higher = above average
  • yellow: -1, 0 or 1 = average
  • red: -2 or lower = below average

Performance indicators

[1] Transposition deficit (% of all directives not transposed)
→ Target established by the European Council, Brussels 8-9 March 2007
≤ 1%/> 1%
[2] Change over the last 12 months (change in the number of non-transposed directives)decreaseno changeincrease
[3] Long-overdue directives (2 years or more)
→ Target established by the European Council, Barcelona 15-16 March 2002
0/> 0
[4] Total transposition delay (in months) for overdue directives &
[5] Conformity deficit (% of all directives transposed incorrectly)
< averageaverage ±10%> average

This table combines the most relevant indicators in order to provide a better overview of Member States' compliance in transposing the single market directives. The table shows that less than 20% of Member States perform better than the EU average when all the indicators are taken into account (Germany, Cyprus, Hungary, Slovenia and Finland).

Indicator [1]: Transposition deficit

The transposition deficit is the percentage of single market directives not yet completely notified to the Commission out of the total number of directives that should have been notified by the deadline. A 1% target was set at the March 2002 European Council.

How is the transposition deficit calculated?

In its calculation of each Member State’s transposition deficit, the Commission includes:

  • directives for which no transposition measures have been communicated
  • directives considered as partially transposed by the Member State, after notifying some transposition measures
  • directives the Member State considers completely transposed, but for which the Commission has launched an infringement proceeding for non-communication and the Member State has not notified new transposition measures after the latest procedural step taken by the Commission.

The transposition deficit does not include directives that are considered completely transposed by a Member State but for which transposition measures are still under examination by the Commission (no procedural step since the latest notification) – See “Directives under completeness check” in “Facts and Figures”.

Transposition deficit of Member States as of 10 December 2021

The average EU transposition deficit continued its negative trend and now exceeds the 1% threshold (see also the “Changes in the average transposition deficit” graph under “Trends” below).

22 Member States are now above the 1% target (up from 13 a year ago).

Indicator [2]: Change over the last 12 months

Change in the number of outstanding directives since December 2020

The backlog continues to grow significantly in most Member States.

Indicator [3]: Long-overdue directives (2 years or more)

Directives with transposition deadlines before 1 December 2019, which have not been fully notified to the Commission by at least one Member State as of 10 December 2021

NumberTitleNot fully transposed byTransposition date
2012/34/EUSingle European railway areaCzechia, Luxembourg, Austria16/06/2015
2014/17/EUCredit agreements for consumers relating to residential immovable propertyItaly21/03/2016
2014/56/EUAmendment of Directive 2006/43/EC on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accountsItaly17/06/2016
2014/52/EUAmendment of Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environmentIreland16/05/2017
(EU) 2015/2366Payment services in the internal marketSweden13/01/2018
2013/59/EURBasic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiationSpain, Italy, Latvia06/02/2018
(EU) 2016/2370Amendment of Directive 2012/34/U as regards the opening of the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail and the governance of the railway infrastructureDenmark, Luxembourg25/12/2018
(EU) 2016/2341Activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision (IOPRs)Ireland13/01/2019
(EU) 2018/1846Amendment of Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods to take into account scientific and technical progressBelgium30/06/2019
(EU) 2018/350Amendment of Directive 2001/18/EC as regards the environmental risk assessment of genetically modified organismsBulgaria29/09/2019
(EU) 2018/1581Amendment of Directive 2009/119/EC as regards the methods for calculating stockholding obligationsSpain, Romania19/10/2019

Significantly more directives, but slightly fewer Member States, are concerned compared to last year. 12 Member States have long-overdue directives (down from 13) and 11 long-overdue directives have not been fully notified (up from 5).

Indicator [4]: Total transposition delays

The spark lines in the chart shows the trend in transposition delays since December 2018. Bar gives the value in December 2021. The EU-27 average is 8.6 months.

Transposition delays slightly increased. Outstanding directives are now 8.6 months late on average (up from 7.4 a year ago).

Indicator [5]: Conformity deficit (incorrectly transposed directives)

The conformity deficit measures the number of directives transposed for which infringement proceedings for incorrect transposition have been launched by the Commission. It is expressed as a percentage of the number of single market directives notified to the Commission as ‘transposed’ or ‘not requiring any further implementation measures’. Only the Court of Justice can rule definitively that a directive has not been transposed correctly, and the Commission is still working on the conformity assessment of a number of notified national measures. This should be kept in mind when interpreting the conformity deficit statistics.

Conformity deficit of Member States as of 10 December 2021

The average conformity deficit (1.3%) has slightly decreased.

EEA EFTA countries

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are also subject to single market rules under the EEA Agreement. They are monitored by the EFTA Surveillance Authority.

However, there is a time lag between the adoption of repeal of a legal act in the EU and its addition to or removal from the EEA Agreement. This means that the body of EU law that applies in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway may differ from that which is in force in the EU. On 1 December 2021, 767 directives and 3548 regulations were in force to ensure the functioning of the single market in the EEA. This should be considered when comparing the Single Market Scoreboard with the EEA Scoreboard.

Transposition deficit

Transposition deficit in EEA EFTA countries as of 1 December 2021

Average deficit (all 3 countries): 0.9% (up from 0.8% in December 2020)

  • Norway: 0.8% (up from 0.4%)
  • Liechtenstein: 0.4% (down from 0.7%)
  • Iceland: 1.6% (up from 1.2%)

Total number of late directives: 21 (up from 19 in December 2020)

  • Norway: 6 (up from 3)
  • Liechtenstein: 3 (down from 6)
  • Iceland: 12 (up from 10)

Average delay in transposing directives: 17.2 months (down from 30.6 months in December 2020)

  • Norway: 9.9 months (down from 12.1)
  • Liechtenstein: 26 months (down from 65.5)
  • Iceland: 15.6 months (up from 14.3)


Changes in the average transposition deficit

The transposition deficit is the percentage of single market directives not yet completely notified to the Commission out of the total number of directives that should have been notified by the deadline. A 1% target was set at the March 2002 European Council.

  • The EU average deficit, which had been decreasing steadily for 19 years (between 1997 and 2016), doubled in June 2016 (from 0.7% to 1.5%). This rise was due to an unusually high number of directives that needed to be transposed in the months before the cut-off date for calculating Member States’ performance. The transposition rate then returned to more normal values (0.6% in December 2019). It has now increased again, this time by 167%. This has likely been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which placed a strain on Member States’ administrative resources. There were also quite a high number of single market directives (96) that had to be transposed between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2021.

Trend in transposition deficit by Member State and EEAEFTA country


Changes in the incompleteness rate

The incompleteness rate records, across the EU, the number of outstanding directives that one or more Member States have failed to transpose completely as a percentage of the total number of single market directives. It show the extent to which the single market is not yet a reality in the areas covered under those directives.

  • When one or more Member States fail to transpose directives on time, they leave a void in the EU legal framework. Instead of the single market covering all Member States, it remains much smaller and fragmented. Consequently, the economic interests of all Member States suffer if just one Member State does not deliver.
  • Over the past 10 years, the incompleteness rate has been fairly stable (4 or 5%). The exception is 2016 when the rate rose to 7% due to a big package of 66 directives that had to be transposed. Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Member State authorities to address pressing priorities. As a result, the rate has grown again to 6%. Another explanation is likely to be in the quite large number of single market directives (96) that had to be transposed between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2021.
  • In absolute terms, 63 out of 997 single market directives due on 30 November 2021 have not been transposed in at least one Member State (up from 47 out of 1 027 directives last year). This 6% incompleteness rate means that the single market’s legal framework is operating only at 94% of its potential. In short, while approaching its 30th anniversary, the single market is still not a reality for the sectors concerned.
Main problem areas (and corresponding incompleteness rate)
  • Special freedom of movement arrangements (weapons, explosives, defence-related products, pyrotechnic articles and cultural goods): 4 directives incompletely transposed out of 12 in force (33%)
  • Energy (including energy efficiency): 5 out of 17 (29%)
  • Financial information and company law: 5 out of 20 (25%)
  • Financial services: 10 out of 59 (17%)

Facts and figures

Focus on short-overdue directives

The European Council set a zero tolerance target in 2002 for delays of 2 years or more in transposing directives. One of the purposes of the Scoreboard is therefore to report on the number of long-overdue directives in each Member State. However, successive Scoreboards reveal that Member States may have difficulties in transposing directives by the agreed deadlines (time between the entry into force of the directive and the date agreed for notifying national transposition measures to the Commission). The average delay is usually between 6 and 12 months.

  • In 2016 (1 November 2015 to 30 November 2016), Member States had to transpose 66 new single market directives. This was significantly more than in 2015 (47), 2017 (39), 2018 (38), 2019 (35), 2020 (51) and 2021 (45). A high number of them has a transposition deadline close to the cut-off date for calculating the transposition deficit. Consequently, the transposition deficit more than doubled, from 0.7% in December 2015 to 1.5% in December 2016 (back to its worst level since May 2007).
  • If we only consider the 26 directives with the most recent transposition deadlines (within the last 6 months, 1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021), the transposition deficit is 35.8% (compared to the 1.6% average deficit for all directives). The transposition rate varies by Member State. Denmark and Germany have transposed 24 out of 26 directives (92%); France, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg and Hungary have transposed over 75% of them (20 or 21). The transposition rate is below 50% for 3 Member States: Belgium and Czechia (10 directives transposed), and Romania (11). In addition to a low transposition rate, these directives have an incompleteness rate of 96% as 26 of the 27 directives have not been transposed by at least one Member State (the incompleteness rate for all directives is 6%).
  • There are other reasons for the long delays besides administrative burdens, the complexity of the directives or short transposition deadlines. For these deadlines, if we look at the 26 directives due in the last 6 months, there is an average transposition period of more than 2 years (24.4 months) for the 19 directives adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, and an average transposition period of 17 months for the 7 execution directives adopted by the Commission (or by the Council for taxation issues).
  • Most Member States need to better plan their transposition and notification processes for directives that have to be incorporated into national law. As the guardian of the treaties, the Commission strives to launch infringement proceedings for non-communication of the expected national measures within 2 months after the transposition deadline has passed. Too many of these infringement proceedings are being launched because of delays for logistical reasons unrelated to the complexity and/or sensitivity of the directives.
  • Based on information provided by Member States, timely transposition seems to be linked to four factors in particular: (i) political attention; (ii) careful planning; (iii) starting transposition work while negotiations are still ongoing; and (iv) close cooperation with national parliaments. Member States are therefore encouraged to proceed with the necessary steps as early as possible on these identified factors and to use tools provided by the Commission. In this context, the Enforcement Action Plan sets out two concrete actions to improve transposing and implementing EU rules: (i) setting up a structured dialogue between Member States and the Commission during the transposition period and (ii) using ‘dynamic virtual concordance tables’ (digital solutions enabling a continuous update on the state of transposition including after the entry into force of the original transposition laws) to support the transposition process. This is in addition to the implementation strategies already described above.

Directives under completeness check

Number of directives under completeness check (as of 10 December 2021)


A large number of notifications (383) of national measures transposing single market directives are being examined by the Commission.

Overdue directives by sector and Member States

This table shows, for each Member State, the total number of directives not fully notified, broken down by sector, as on 10 December 2022. Sectors in which directives have been fully transposed are included under “Others”. The highlighted figures show the sector(s) with the highest number of overdue directives in each Member State.

Member State
Competition (1)
Connectivity/Media/Digital society (20)
Consumers (19)
Energy incl. Energy
consumption (17)
Environment (185)
Financial information and
company law (20)
Financial services (64)
Free movement of
persons & Citizenship of Union (23)
Social Policy (96)
Special freedom of
movement arrangements (12)
Taxation (73)
Transport (118)
Other sectors (370)
Spain1  422613 42 25
Belgium 1 261213  7 23
Poland 131211113  7 21
Bulgaria 3 3 2 112 6 18
Luxembourg   4 2 13 14 15
Hungary 1 3   131 6 15
Czechia12 2 1113  3 14
Netherlands 111 22111 4 14
Portugal 21 1   2 25 13
Ireland 2 31   3  3 12
Latvia 31241  1    12
Croatia   25   3  1 11
Germany   2   12  5 10
Austria   31 113  1 10
Slovenia1    2 13  3 10
Cyprus     2  3  4 9
Slovakia  32 1 11  1 9
Finland 2 21  11  2 9
Italy  11  21   2 7
Sweden 1 1  1 12 1 7
Denmark 1 1 1  1  1 5
Estonia1   1  1   1 4
Greece   2    2    4
Malta   1 11 1    4
France        3    3
Lithuania   1    1  1 3
Romania1      1   1 3

Problematic sectors for Member States (more than 25% of all cases)

  • Environment: Croatia (29%)
  • Transport: Denmark (50%), Hungary (43%), Czechia (29%)
  • Energy: Germany (75%)
  • Consumers: Finland (38%)
  • Financial services: Lithuania (41%), Malta (36%), the Netherlands (31%), Greece (28%), Bulgaria (27%)
  • Connectivity/Media/Digital society: Slovenia (42%), France (33%), Slovakia (29%)

Clearly, these percentages should be viewed in relation to the total number of cases in each Member State (see “Total” column).

Directives subject to notification by next Scoreboard

New directives to be transposed by 30 November 2022 will soon be added to the current transposition deficit.

More information

Single market directives are legal acts considered to have an impact on the functioning of the single market, as defined in Article 26(2) TFEU. This includes the four freedoms (freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital across borders within the EU), and supporting policies that have a direct impact on the single market. These policies include taxation, employment, culture, social policy, education, public health, energy, consumer protection, transport, environment (except nature protection), and information society and media.

In its judgment of 8 July 2019 in Case C-543/1, Commission v Belgium, the Court of Justice clarified the scope of Article 260(3) TFEU by stating that its sanction mechanism may also be applied in case of a partial failure to adopt and to communicate the transposition measures (see above).

On 16 July 2020, the Court of Justice reconfirmed its position in rulings C-549/18, Commission v Romania, and C-550/18, Commission v Ireland. The Court clarified further the calculation and imposition of daily penalties and lump sums for non-communication cases. Consequently, the Commission proposals under Article 260(3) TFEU are binding as regards the maximum amount of the penalty. On the calculation of the lump sum, the Court clarified that the calculation of the duration of the infringement starts from the transposition deadline of the Directive.

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