This report takes into account all transposition notifications made by 10 December 2022 for directives with a transposition deadline on or before 30 November 2022. As of that date, 1018 directives and 6224 regulations were in force to ensure the functioning of the single market. All comparisons are with the figures for 10 December 2021, the previous reporting date.
Single market legislation can only achieve its intended effects if the provisions in 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 the smooth functioning of the 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 both a lump sum and a periodic penalty payment on Member States that do not communicate their transposition measures. This approach is in line with other infringement cases that can result in financial sanctions. It clearly demonstrates 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 cases involving partial failure to adopt and to communicate transposition measures. In this context, the Court refers to Member States’ obligation not only to notify transposition measures but also to supply sufficiently clear and precise information as to which provisions in national law transpose which provisions of a directive. On 16 July 2020, the Court of Justice confirmed its position in rulings C-549/18, Commission v Romania, and C-550/18, Commission v Ireland. On the application of the sanctions, the Court clarified that the infringement is deemed to start from the transposition deadline for the Directive.
It is up to each Member State to implement 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 “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 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 what support the Commission can provide to Member States. Support measures include preparing guidance documents, organising expert groups and workshops, creating dedicated websites, and promoting training for practitioners.
In October 2022, the Commission adopted the Communication Enforcing EU law for a Europe that delivers setting out its work to ensure that EU law is complied with, and people and businesses can benefit from the same rights across the EU. The Communication is structured around 6 major themes, that can all play a role in improving timely and correct transposition: (1) increased cooperation with Member States and specialised authorities; (2) increased transparency and monitoring; (3) technical assistance and financial support available from the Commission; (4) possible use of pre-infringement process for swifter compliance; (5) use of infringement procedures primarily to tackle breaches with the biggest impact on the interests of people and businesses and (6) adaptability in response to crises.
- On transposing single market directives (all indicators combined), 10 Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Greece, France, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia) performed above the EU average and 9 Member States were around the EU average. 8 Member States were below the EU average: Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands and Poland. After 2 challenging years, the national authorities of these 8 countries must refocus their attention and devote sufficient resources to implementing the single market body of law.
- The average transposition deficit decreased to 1.1% (-31%), while the average conformity deficit remained stable, at 1.3%. The average transposition delay increased by 47% to 12.6 months (it was 8.6 months in 2021).
- Further efforts are needed to reduce the number of EU directives that are transposed by Member States incorrectly or with delays. Uniform implementation of EU law is fundamental to the single market. The third Annual Single Market Report published in January 2023 points out that late transposition creates an uneven playing field and prevents people and businesses in the Member States from benefiting from a more integrated single market. It highlights that much could be gained if Member States increased efforts early in the transposition process (for further information on the third Annual Single Market Report, see “More information”).
- 13 Member States improved their overall performance compared to December 2021 (Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, France, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Austria, Portugal, Romania and Sweden), while the situation deteriorated for 5 Member States (Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Finland). The performance of the remaining 9 Member States remained stable. These results are very encouraging. In 2021, 7 Member States improved their performance, while the situation worsened for 10 of them; in 2020, only 5 Member States improved while 14 got worse.
- In total, 10 Member States got a green card. Those were Cyprus and Slovenia, which maintained their December 2021 performance above the EU average and a further 8 which improved on most of the indicators: Denmark, Estonia, Greece, France, Italy, Lithuania, Malta and Portugal. With the exception of Portugal, all the Member States with a green card met the 1% transposition deficit target set at the March 2007 European Council. Of those, 5 also have a better-than-average conformity deficit: Denmark, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Malta.
- As for the distribution of red cards, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and Poland joined Bulgaria, Ireland, Spain and Croatia in the group of Member States that are below the EU average. 6 Member States (Belgium, Czechia, Italy, Austria, Romania and Sweden) left this group. With the exception of Germany, each of the 7 other Member States with a red card has a transposition deficit above the 1% benchmark. The conformity deficit is average for Spain and Croatia; it is under average for the other 6 Member States.
| Transposition deficit (% of all directives not transposed)|
→ Target established by the European Council, Brussels 8-9 March 2007
|≤ 1%||/||> 1%|
| Change over the last 12 months (change in the number of non-transposed directives)||decrease||no change||increase|
| Long-overdue directives (2 years or more)|
→ Target established by the European Council, Barcelona 15-16 March 2002
| Total transposition delay (in months) for overdue directives &|
 Conformity deficit (% of all directives transposed incorrectly)
|< average||average ±10%||> average|
This table combines the most relevant indicators to provide a better overview of Member States’ compliance in transposing the single market directives. The table shows that about a third of Member States (10) performed better than the EU average when all indicators are taken into account (Denmark, Estonia, Greece, France, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia). That is twice as many as last year.
- The huge deterioration observed over the past 2 years is now starting to be reversed. The transposition deficit has decreased from 1.6 to 1.1% (-31%) and 15 Member States are now in line with the European Council’s 1% target. After a steady improvement since December 2016, the number of Member States that met the target fell dramatically from 26 in 2019 to 5 in 2021. This was likely 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.
- 12 Member States (up from 2 in 2021) met the 1% target and managed to further decrease their backlogs. Denmark, Germany and Finland met the target but added to their backlogs.
- Hungary is the only Member State that reached the target in December 2021 and missed it this year. In addition to the 4 other Member States that were below the 1% threshold last year, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Austria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Sweden went back below the threshold.
- Despite the general progress, 6 Member States increased their transposition deficit: Denmark, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Poland and Finland. This increase is moderate: 0.1 to 0.6 percentage points, but still 0.8 for Hungary.
- 21 Member States managed to improve their performance compared to a year ago (from 0.1 percentage point for Portugal to 1.4 for Greece and Lithuania, and even 2.6 for Romania). Romania equalled its best ever result (0.3%, last achieved in November 2009). Along with France and Lithuania, it is now at the top of the ranking for this criterion.
- Moreover, 7 Member States also met the 0.5% target that the Commission proposed in the 2011 Single Market Act: Denmark, Estonia, Greece, France, Lithuania, Malta and Romania. They were only 2 in the previous reporting period (Denmark was one of them).
- The ultimate goal is for all Member States to transpose single market rules within the agreed deadlines. However, Member States and their authorities should be praised for the considerable efforts they have made to achieve this very encouraging result after 2 difficult years.
- Compared to a year ago, 21 Member States reduced their number of outstanding directives (up from 6), while the number rose in 6 Member States (down from 20). An average of 5 directives were removed from the backlog in 2022 (while 5 directives were added to the backlog in 2021).
- Among the 6 Member States that have a bigger backlog than before, Denmark, Germany and Finland stayed below the threshold, but Hungary went above the ceiling and missed the 1% target.The 2 remaining Member States (Spain and Poland) were already above the target last year.
- 17 Member States reversed the negative trend of the previous year and reduced the number of outstanding directives. It is worth highlighting the efforts made by Czechia and Ireland (both with 10 fewer outstanding directives), Sweden (13 fewer), Greece and Lithuania (14 fewer) and especially Romania (26 fewer) .
- By contrast, Germany, Hungary and Poland were unable to maintain their progress from last year, adding 6 to 8 directives to their backlogs. Transposition is an ongoing process and any let-up can result in a quick rise in the deficit.
Indicator : Long-overdue directives (2 years or more)
Directives with transposition deadlines before 1 December 2020, which have not been fully notified to the Commission by at least one Member State as of 10 December 2022
|Number||Title||Not fully transposed by||Transposition date|
|2013/59/EUR||Basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation||Latvia, Spain||06/02/2018|
|(EU) 2018/1581||Amendment of Directive 2009/119/EC as regards the methods for calculating stockholding obligations||Spain||19/10/2019|
|2019/68/EU||Technical specifications for the marking of firearms and their essential components||Bulgaria, Sweden||17/01/2020|
|2019/69/EU||Technical specifications for alarm and signal weapons||Bulgaria, Netherlands||17/01/2020|
|2019/692/EU||Amendment of Directive 2009/73/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas||Ireland||24/02/2020|
|2018/844/EU||Amendment of Directives 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings and 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency||Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg||10/03/2020|
|2018/645/EU||Amendment of Directives 2003/59/EC on the initial qualification and periodic training of drivers of certain road vehicles for the carriage of goods or passengers and 2006/126/EC on driving licences||Romania||23/05/2020|
|2018/849/EU||Amendment of Directives 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, and 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment||Belgium, Croatia||05/07/2020|
|2018/850/EU||Amendment of Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste||Belgium, Croatia||05/07/2020|
|2018/851/EU||Amendment of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste||Belgium||05/07/2020|
|2018/852/EU||Amendment of Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste||Belgium, Croatia, Spain||05/07/2020|
|2018/1808/EU||Amendment of Directive 2010/13/EU on audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive)||Ireland||19/09/2020|
|2018/2002/EU||Amendment of Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency||Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Spain||25/10/2020|
More directives and more Member States are concerned compared to last year. 14 Member States have long-overdue directives (up from 12) and 13 long-overdue directives have not been fully notified (up from 11).
- Long transposition delays seriously impair the proper functioning of the single market. The longer the delay, the more serious the consequences are for people and businesses. This is why Heads of State and Government, meeting in Barcelona in March 2002, set a target of “zero tolerance” for delays of 2 years or more in transposing directives.
- Missing notifications for these long-overdue directives now account for 10% of the overall transposition deficit (30 missing notifications out of 290). A year ago, they were accounted for just 4%. In absolute terms, the number of missing notifications for long-overdue directives has significantly increased (17 in 2019, 15 in 2020, 17 again in 2021 and 30 in 2022). We are further and further away from the “zero tolerance” target.
- Currently, 13 Member States meet the target compared to 15 in December 2021. Greece and Malta have complied with the target for 10 years or more; Estonia, Cyprus, Portugal and Finland for 5 years or more.
- Within the last year, Czechia, Denmark and Italy transposed all their long-overdue directive(s). By contrast, 5 Member States (Germany, Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands and Slovakia) moved in the opposite direction. They have now had 1 to 4 directives overdue for more than 2 years. Belgium, Bulgaria, Ireland and Spain added 1 to 4 directives to their existing backlog. The situation remained unchanged in Latvia, Austria, Romania and Sweden (1 long-overdue directive each), and Luxembourg (2 directives).
- Particular attention should be paid to long transposition delays, which prevent people and businesses from exercising their rights under the law and create legal uncertainty. For example, the non-transposition of Directive 2013/59/EU (see above) by all Member States means that health safety standards designed to protect individuals subject to occupational, medical and public exposures against ionising radiation are still not implemented across the EU, almost 4 years after the agreed date.
- By December 2023, a further 22 directives may be added to the list of long-overdue directives for some Member States.
- 4 Member States reduced their average delay (down from 9 in December 2021), while for 23 of them the average increased (up from 17). Last year's upward trend has continued but the increase in the transposition delay is even bigger (+4 months).
- Italy reduced its average delay the most (from 20.8 months to 11.5). It managed to transpose its 3 long-overdue directives, which had a significant impact on its average delay from December 2021. Denmark, France and Luxembourg also made progress in this area, albeit more moderately.
- In Member States that saw an increase in the average transposition delay, the rise was variable: from an increase of 2 months for Ireland to 12.9 months for Romania. For a third of them (8/23), the increase is partly due to additional long-overdue directives: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands and Slovakia.
- Contrary to what might be assumed, having fewer outstanding directives may go hand in hand with a higher transposition delay: when a number of recent directives are transposed, the remaining older ones may have a greater impact on the average delay. This is the case for Romania. The country has impressively decreased its number of overdue directives from 29 to 3 in a year, but this has pushed its average transposition delay significantly (+155%). The 3 remaining directives are indeed quite old: 11, 22 and 30 months respectively. That said, Member States should better anticipate transposition challenges at an early stage of the transposition process, even before the adoption date of the directives. The Commission is currently exploring ways to increase support to Member States in this regard.
- Transposing directives within the transposition deadline is just one aspect of implementation. They also need to be correctly transposed and applied on the ground to be considered as fully implemented.
- The number of infringement proceedings for incorrect transposition of single market directives launched by the Commission has fallen further. Between 1 December 2021 and 30 November 2022, 37 new cases were launched. There were 71 between 1 December 2020 and 30 November 2021 and as many as 161 between 1 December 2018 and 30 November 2019. In part, the decrease since 2019 can be attributed to the more systematic use of EU Pilot dialogue as announced in Action 21 of the March 2020 Enforcement action plan as well as in point V. “Early detection and resolution of breaches of EU law” of the 2022 Communication Enforcing EU law for a Europe that delivers (see “Infringement” page for more information). Another reason could be particularly large number of directives that had transposition deadlines in 2016. The conformity checks on those directives were in full swing in 2019 and 2020. They are now mostly completed. Finally, the Commission adopted the November 2022 decisions on infringements only in January 2023. Consequently, those decisions are not included in the above figure, which presents the situation on 1 December 2022.
- Despite the decrease in the number of new cases, the number of ongoing cases that still need to be resolved is high (292 cases relating to 73 different directives).
- 13 Member States have reduced their previous deficit (by 0.1 to 0.4 percentage points). These are Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Austria and Malta. 4 others (Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Slovenia) have maintained their deficit. Expressed in percentage terms, the reductions go from 5% for Bulgaria to 40% for Malta.
- 10 Member States saw an increase in their deficit by 0.1 to 0.4 percentage points. Germany is no longer among the 3 Member States with the highest conformity deficit. Hungary has taken its place, joining Bulgaria and Czechia.
- The situation has slightly worsened. Last year, 18 Member States had a conformity deficit over 1%, and now there are 19. Similarly, 6 Member States had a deficit over 1.5%, and there are now 8. Bulgaria and Czechia still have more than 2% of single market directives incorrectly transposed. Spain has increased its conformity deficit by 30%.
- In November 2012, 11 Member States met the conformity deficit target of 0.5% or less proposed in the 2011 Single Market Act. They were still 4 in December 2018. Since then, no Member State has reached the target, though Malta (0.6%) and Cyprus (0.7%) are now very close to it. Efforts to reduce the number of EU rules incorrectly transposed by Member States can help to save a lot of the time and effort that currently goes into the lengthy processes of revising the rules after they have started to apply.
- Some Member States have both a high transposition deficit and a high percentage of incorrectly transposed directives (Bulgaria, Czechia, Ireland, Hungary, the Netherlands and Poland). These Member States should consider further efforts to reduce these numbers. Improving the cooperative mechanisms and procedures supporting Member States should result in more compliance.
EEA EFTA countries
However, there is a time lag between the adoption or 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 2022, 783 directives and 3875 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.
- Only 1 of the 3 EEA EFTA countries met the proposed 0.5% target (Liechtenstein), while the number of directives that have not been notified doubled in Norway from December 2021.
- Zero tolerance target: in total, the EEA EFTA countries have 2 different directives that have been overdue for 2 years or more (1 each for Norway and Liechtenstein).
- Directives still outstanding from the previous period: Iceland: 4, Liechtenstein: 1; Norway: 4.
- The average delay decreased by 13.4 months because Liechtenstein implemented its 4 oldest outstanding directives in 2021.
Trends (in the EU)
- Over the years, the Commission has observed that most Member States have shown a strong political commitment to transposition, effective administrative procedures and better coordination. This commitment was reflected in all indicators. In 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Member State authorities to address other priorities. They seem now to have returned to the transposition work, which has probably helped them regain at least the pre-crisis level of performance.
- European Council targets. The target has been an average transposition deficit of 1.5% or less (from March 2001) and 1% or less (from March 2007). In November 2014, 50% of Member States reached the 0.5% average transposition target proposed in the 2011 Single Market Act. By the end of 2019, 12 Member States had reached the 0.5% target, and 5 were very close to it (0.6%) This shows that the Commission’s proposal is realistic. These targets, which serve as an incentive, have been emphasised in the communication that the Commission has prepared for the 30th anniversary of the single market (see "More information").
- Financial penalties. Under the Treaty of Lisbon, financial penalties can be imposed when a Member State is first referred to the Court of Justice for failing to notify the transposition of a directive adopted under a legislative procedure. The Communication EU law: Better results through better application gives a high priority to the handling of cases concerning the timely transposition of directives and has increased the financial penalties in cases brought to the Court of Justice under Article 260(3) TFEU. As a result of this high priority, the Commission has adopted the same approach as in other infringement cases – it systematically asks the Court to impose a lump sum penalty and a periodic penalty payment.
- The 2019 Court of Justice ruling in case C-543/17 (Commission v. Belgium), confirmed by rulings C-549/18 and C-550/18, clarified the respective roles of Member States and the Commission in setting out the correlation between the provisions of a directive and the corresponding rules in national law. Compliance with this judgment will probably help to reduce the time needed to assess the national legislation implementing a directive.
- In its Better Regulation guidelines of November 2021, the Commission proposed implementation strategies to support Member States more effectively and facilitate the transposition of new directives. The Commission presented the different forms of support it provides to Member States, including preparing guidance documents, organising expert groups and workshops, creating dedicated websites, and promoting training for practitioners.
- In October 2022, the Commission adopted the Communication Enforcing EU law for a Europe that delivers which stresses that flawed application of the EU Treaties and legislation has detrimental impacts on the single market. As “guardian of the Treaties”, the Commission is responsible for ensuring a level playing field for people and businesses across EU. Instead of systematic recourse to infringement procedures, the communication presents a strategy for EU law enforcement based on continuing dialogue and cooperation between the Commission, the Member States and the specialised authorities.
- As a consistent and effective application of EU rules requires steady and sustained efforts by Member States and the Commission, a stocktaking exercise is currently underway to ensure that the best possible enforcement tools are available to make EU law work in practice. In particular, it will look at ways to improve the cooperation between the Commission and Member States on the swift and correct transposition of directives.
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 purpose 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. It is even longer this year, at 12.6 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), 2021 (45) and 2022 (48). Many of them have 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 29 directives with the most recent transposition deadlines (1 June to 30 November 2022), the transposition deficit is 12.7%. It is much lower than a year ago, when the transposition deficit for the recent directives was 35.8%. However, it is more than 10 times the average deficit for all directives (1.1%). The transposition rate varies by Member State, from 100% for Estonia and Romania which have transposed all 29 directives to 72% for Belgium and Spain (21 directives transposed). In addition to a high transposition deficit, these directives have an incompleteness rate of 45% as 13 of the 29 directives have not been transposed by at least one Member State (the incompleteness rate for all directives is 6%).
- In most cases, short transposition deadlines do not account for the long delays, nor do administrative burdens or the complexity of the directives. If we look at the 48 directives due in this reporting period (1 December 2021 to 30 November 2022), there is an average transposition period of more than 2 years (27 months) for the 12 directives adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, and an average transposition period of 14 months for the 36 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. 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 2022 Communication Enforcing EU law for a Europe that delivers outlines the wide range of tools the Commission uses to support more efficient and effective implementation (e.g., IT tools, meeting-based tools, reporting tools, preventing tools, ad-hoc tools).
- The graph above concerns directives that are the subject of an infringement procedure for non-communication. It shows the number of those directives whose transposition has been declared complete by each Member State and for which the Commission is examining whether the notification process is indeed complete. The outcome will be either a new formal step in the procedure or its closure. Concerning notifications made outside existing infringement proceedings, the verification process may lead the Commission to take the decision to proceed with an infringement case. The directives concerned will then be included in the transposition deficit in the next report.
- This also explains the difference between the number of formal infringement procedures pending for non-communication of national transposition measures in the single market on 1 December 2022 (866) and the number of missing transpositions and transpositions declared as partially notified (290) by Member States (or a formal Commission decision). For many of the notifications made as part of an infringement procedure (or before a formal infringement procedure was launched), the Commission is still examining the notifications. Or, where completeness has already been checked, the Commission has asked for the case to be formally closed or continued (but a formal decision has not yet been taken).
- The number of notifications whose completeness is under examination varies from one Member State to another, from 6 for Germany to 38 for Czechia. The EU average is 21, up from 14 in December 2021. The high number of notifications currently being analysed is linked to the slowdown in transposition activities in 2020 and 2021, when the Member States’ authorities were trying to cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are now transposing their backlog, as reflected in the reduction of the number of missing notifications in a year (426 to 290) and the consequent improvement of the transposition deficit.
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 (where relevant, 10% or more of the total number of overdue directives).
Connectivity/media/digital society (20)
Energy incl. Energy
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)
Problematic sectors for Member States (more than 25% of all cases)
- Environment – Croatia (45%), Latvia (33%), Belgium (26%)
- Transport – Germany (50%), Cyprus (44%), Hungary (40%), Portugal (38%), Bulgaria and Poland (33%), Belgium and Slovenia (30%), the Netherlands (29%), Luxembourg (27%)
- Energy – Austria (30%), Luxembourg (27%)
- Social policy – France (100%), Cyprus (33%), Austria and Slovenia (30%)
- Consumers – Slovakia (33%)
Clearly, these percentages should be viewed in relation to the total number of cases in each Member State (see “Total” column).
Directives for notification by next Scoreboard
In addition to today’s transposition deficit, it is also important to look at new directives coming on stream by 30 November 2023.
Given the number of directives to be transposed in the next 12 months (see above “Focus on short-overdue directives”, together with some particularly high backlogs, we can anticipate that several Member States won’t be able to meet the 1% target without drastic action. Nevertheless, the recent achievements of Romania in particular but also Greece, Lithuania and some other Member States show that considerable progress is possible in a short period of time.
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.
The Annual Single Market Report was first published in 2021. The third report “Single Market at 30” was published by the European Commission on 31 January 2023, complementing the publication of the annual Single Market Scoreboard alongside it. It marks the 30 years anniversary of the EU’s single market.
Upon the release of both reports, Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market said “Today’s reports provide additional evidence of the central role that the single market plays in our daily lives and in helping EU businesses and SMEs to grow and expand. Building on the success of the past 30 years, we will continue to work with Member States to ensure that they apply EU law properly and their administrations do not draw up new barriers in particular in the area of services. In the current geopolitical context and with fierce global competition, a well-functioning single market will be particularly vital for the EU’s competitiveness, job creation and resilience”.
In this regard, this year’s of the Annual Single Market Report takes stock of the integration of the single market over the last 30 years, highlighting the benefits and key achievements for people and businesses. It also discusses the single market from a longer-term perspective through the challenges that the EU is facing.
In particular, the report explores the potential of novel approaches, partnerships and collaborative tools in strengthening trust among authorities and of better cooperation in addressing persisting single market barriers and obstacles. It also touches upon the potential of digital technologies and user-friendly e-government solutions in helping reduce the administrative burdens for businesses and administrations.
The Communication "The Single Market at 30", published on 16 March 2023, looks ahead and calls on a renewed focus on enforcing existing single market rules, supported by benchmarks to address the deficits related to transposition and implementation of EU rules; and removing Member State-level barriers, in particular barriers to the cross-border provision of services, and in the industrial ecosystems with the greatest economic integration potential (retail, construction, tourism, business services and renewable energy sector).
In particular, the Commission, referring to its previous call on the Member States, proposes to set concrete targets on enforcement with the aim of limiting both the transposition as well as the conformity deficit to 0.5%.