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Single Market Scoreboard


Reporting period:

12/2021 – 12/2022

This report provides statistics on single market infringement proceedings that were open on 1 December 2022. All comparisons are with the figures for the last reporting date, 1 December 2021. The statistics do not include cases of late transposition (known as “non-communication cases”) – except in the pie chart entitled “Types of cases”. This is to avoid such cases being counted twice, as they are already covered in the “Transposition” governance tool.

To make the single market work for all, common EU rules are in place, facilitating the free movement of people, goods, services and capital. These rules can only deliver their intended results if they are properly implemented and enforced throughout the EU.

It is a shared responsibility of the Member States and the Commission to ensure that single market rules are complied with and that people’s rights are enforced. Member States are required to comply with EU rules they have agreed to as European legislators. They have to detect and remedy violations of single market rules in their own territory. The Commission, in accordance with Article 17(1) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), is obliged to ensure that all Member States implement and comply with single market rules. The Commission can take legal action, by initiating an infringement procedure in line with Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), against any EU Member State that fails to implement EU law. The Commission may refer the issue to the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court), which can impose financial penalties in certain cases.

Monitoring infringements helps to make the single market work better. It highlights the efforts that Member States are making to ensure that single market law is implemented properly and encourages them to improve their performance.

Infringements 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. This harms the EU economy and undermines the confidence people and businesses have in the single market and the EU in general.

The March 2020 Long-term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules aimed to make the EU’s compliance and enforcement policy as effective and efficient as possible. Committed to increasing their joint efforts to this end, the Commission and Member States devised 22 specific measures. These range from increasing the knowledge and awareness of single market rules and making the best use of preventive mechanisms, to strengthening enforcement on the ground and improving the handling of infringements.

As follow-up to the long-term action plan, the Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET) was set up in 2020, to offer a high-level forum where the Commission and Member States collaboratively commit to devising and implementing solutions to single market obstacles rooted in enforcement or implementation deficiencies. In 2022, SMET has continued to work intensively to address some horizontal pressing barriers that hamper the proper functioning of the single market (more details in the 2021-2022 Report, published on 28 November 2022).

In October 2022, the Commission adopted the Communication Enforcing EU law for a Europe that delivers which stressed that enforcement of EU law is and will remain one of the Commission’s core priorities. The Commission uses its enforcement powers and resorts to infringement procedures where necessary to protect our commonly agreed rules. However, it made it clear that a steady and sustained collaboration between the Commission and the Member States is required to ensure the consistent and effective application of EU rules and to prevent potential problems. Since the new strategic approach put in place by the 2016 Communication EU Law: Better Results through Better Application, infringement proceedings are understood as a last resort after exhausting all other possibilities based on negotiation and prevention.

Key messages

  • 3 Member States have improved on their December 2021 overall performance (Czechia, France and Lithuania) while the situation has deteriorated for 7 Member States (Belgium, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Finland). All other Member States have matched their previous performance. Overall, the situation has worsened, in comparison to last year, when no Member State performed worse than previously.
  • After steadily increasing for 3 years (2017-2020) and strongly decreasing in 2021 (-12%), the number of pending single market infringement cases has continued its declining trend. The total number of single market cases is 713, 26 less than in the previous Scoreboard (-4%). One explanation is the wider use of the early problem-solving mechanism (EU Pilot) requested by the Member States, combined with the impact of the pandemic on the work relating to the application of EU law and on the use of compliance tools such as the dialogue with Member States.
  • With 46 cases, Spain is still the Member State with most pending infringement cases. It is followed by Greece (45), Italy (42) Germany (40) and Bulgaria (38). France is no longer part of this top 5, having given way to Bulgaria.
  • The sectors with most single market-related infringement cases are environment (30%), transport (16%) and services & professions (14%).
  • After a 13% decrease between December 2017 and December 2019, the average case duration is now 47.9 months, up 12% from 42.8 months one year ago, and up 38% compared with December 2019. This increase in duration over the last year is in part due to the resolution of a limited number of old cases combined with the launching of a limited number of new cases. Remaining cases get older and weigh more heavily on the calculation of the average duration.
  • As highlighted in the third Annual Single Market Report published in January 2023, the effectiveness of single market rules agreed to by Member State is undermined by their difficulties in integrating them into their national frameworks properly and on time. This prevents businesses and people in the Member States from benefiting from a more integrated single market, and it creates an uneven playing field, ultimately hurting the economy in each Member State. It is therefore essential that national authorities devote sufficient resources and efforts to applying the single market body of law and take measures to ensure the required administrative capacity is available.


Overall performance

Map legend

A Member State’s performance across all indicators relating to infringements is calculated by scoring each of the 4 indicators 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] Number of pending infringement proceedings & [3] Duration of infringement proceedings (in months)< averageaverage ± 10%> average
[2] Change over the last 12 months (change in the number of infringement cases)decreaseno changeincrease
[4] Duration since Court’s ruling (in months)< 8 months8-18 months> 18 months

This table combines the most relevant indicators to provide a better overview of Member States’ compliance with the requirement to implement and apply single market rules. The table shows that only a small number of six Member States perform better than the EU average when all indicators are taken into account: Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta. This is the same number as last year.

Indicator [1]: Number of pending infringement proceedings

Note: This indicator shows the number of open infringements for every Member State and the EU average. It does not necessarily provide a full picture of the degree of compliance with single market rules. This is because the number of infringements depends on several factors, including the size of the market in individual Member States.

Pending infringement proceedings on 1 December 2022. The spark line of the chart shows the development of pending infringement proceedings since December 2019. The bar shows the value in December 2022. The EU-27 average is 26.


Total number of cases: 713 (down from 739 in December 2021)

Average number of cases per Member State: 26 (down from 27)

Member States where the number of cases has risen: 9 (up from 1)

Member States where the number of cases has fallen: 17 (down from 23)

Member States with no change: 1 (down from 3)

Indicator [2]: Change over the last 12 months

Change in the number of pending infringement proceedings since December 2021


The number of infringement cases decreased further in half of the Member States (14 out of 27).

Indicator [3]: Duration of infringement proceedings

Pending infringement cases not yet sent to the Court (i.e. at the pre-litigation stage) on 1 December 2022 (630 cases). Average duration is calculated in months from when the letter of formal notice is sent.


No Member State still has a case duration below the 36-month indicative target.

Indicator [4]: Time taken to comply with a Court ruling

Cases closed between 1 December 2017 and 30 November 2022 where the Court has ruled against a Member State (94 cases). This graph shows the average time (in months) between the delivery of the Court’s judgment and the closure of the case confirming that the Member State has complied with the judgment (“compliance time”).


The average compliance time remains very far from the indicative target.

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 or repeal of a legal act in the EU and its addition to or removal from the EEA Agreement. The body of EU law applicable in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway may thus differ from that applicable in the EU. This should be borne in mind when comparing the Single Market Scoreboard and the EEA Scoreboard.

Number of pending cases

Infringement cases pending on 1 December 2022 arising from the incorrect transposition or application of single market rules. EEA EFTA average is 17.


Total cases open: 130 (down from 188 in December 2021), of which:

  • incorrect transposition/application: 52 (see figure above) = 40% of all open infringement cases (Iceland 26, Liechtenstein 2 and Norway 24)
  • late transposition (directives): 11 (Iceland 6, Liechtenstein 1 and Norway 4) = 8%
  • late implementation* (regulations): 67 (Iceland 62 and Norway 5) = 52%

* Under Article 7 of the EEA Agreement, regulations incorporated into the Agreement “shall as such be made part of the internal legal order” of the EEA EFTA countries. In Liechtenstein, however, regulations are directly applicable and do not have to be implemented.

Trends (in the EU)

Changes in numbers of infringement cases

  • The current report shows a further – although moderate – decrease in the number of cases (-4% within the last year). The reduction in cases is -15% in 2 years.
  • EU Pilot, the structured problem-solving dialogue between the Commission and Member States, roughly halved the number of cases between its launch in April 2008 and December 2016. In its Communication on EU Law: Better Results through Better Application, the Commission recognised the effectiveness of EU Pilot, but noted that dialogue with national authorities was continuing for much longer than is reasonable and decided to launch infringement procedures without systematically relying on EU Pilot’s problem-solving mechanism. At EU level, the number of new EU Pilot cases dropped dramatically, from 790 cases in 2016 to only 178 in 2017 (-77%). A consequence was a strong rise in the number of formal infringement cases.
  • Member States then asked to increase the use of the EU Pilot tool as an early problem-solving mechanism again. Therefore, the March 2020 Enforcement Action Plan calls for the EU Pilot to be used under clear conditions and, with a clear timetable, for cases where a rapid solution is likely to be found. Among other reasons, this increased use of EU Pilot (190 new cases in 2019, 212 in 2020, 246 in 2021 and 279 in 2022) seems to be bearing fruits in that the number of infringement cases is clearly flattening out. The recently published (October 2022) Commission Communication Enforcing EU law for a Europe that delivers calls for early detection and resolution of breaches of EU law, in particular through the EU Pilot tool, which has over time “used an approach of harnessing openness and mutual trust between Member States and the Commission to bring about compliance more quickly”. The Communication makes it clear that the tool can be used where it is likely to lead to swifter compliance than a formal infringement procedure.

Evolution of infringement cases broken down by Member State and EEA EFTA country


Facts and figures

Cases by sector

This table shows the total number of infringement cases for each Member State on 1 December 2022, broken down by sector. Sectors with few infringement proceedings are included in other sectors. The highlighted figures show the sector(s) with most infringement cases in each Member State (where relevant, 10% or more of the total number of pending cases).

(#) = Total number of infringement cases by sector

Member State
Air transport (51)
Atmospheric pollution (61)
Chemical substances, industrial
and biotechnological hazards (19)
Direct taxation (26)
Employment, social affairs and iInclusion (42)
Energy (36)
Environmental impact (28)
Financial services (37)
Indirect taxation (17)
Nuclear safety and
radioactive waste (26)
Public procurement (23)
Road and rail transport (32)
Services and Professions – compliance issues (83)
Services and Professions – sectoral issues (18)
Transport safety (23)
Waste management (31)
Water protection and management (62)
Other sectors (98)
Spain32 5411111224 329546
Greece33  1213311242157645
Italy351 41 1312221137542
Germany2316321131144   1740
Bulgaria242 1311 22142323538
France2513212    343 13636
Poland252 241 111 4 113634
Belgium21 42111 2  325 2733
Hungary221 2213  1221 121032
Portugal33 11111122 42222432
Romania16  14 411  31 34332
Czechia241 1221 1123 111730
Slovakia341 1123    4  23529
Austria231 222411132    327
Netherlands2  31111 2224 11 223
Slovenia221 112  1124  21323
Ireland121 312  1 13 1 3322
Croatia121 1112 2  31121120
Cyprus22  2  11   41123120
Sweden11 2 113  2 3  12320
Denmark1 1 111  2 32 1  215
Lithuania2   111 11122   2115
Malta3 1 1  11   32  2115
Finland111 1113  1 2    113
Latvia  1 1  1 21 3 1 1112
Luxembourg21 21111   12     12
Estonia1 1 1 1  11 1     7
Main findings
Sectors with most infringement cases
  • Environment – 30% of all cases (especially atmospheric pollution, water protection and management, and waste management)
  • Transport – 16% (especially air transport, road and rail transport, and transport safety)
  • Services and professions – 14%
  • Energy – 9% (especially nuclear safety and radioactive waste, and energy security and safety)
Problematic sectors by Member State
  • Environment – Slovakia (45% of all cases) Ireland and Romania (41%), France and Slovenia (39%), Greece and Italy (38%), Czechia (37%)
  • Transport – Denmark (33% of all cases), Lithuania and Malta (27%), Luxembourg (25%)
  • Services and professions – Malta (33% of all cases), Cyprus and Latvia (25%)
  • Taxation – Germany (23% of all cases)
  • Financial services – Finland (23% of all cases)

Average duration by sector

Pending infringement cases not yet sent to the Court (i.e. still in the pre-litigation phase) on 1 December 2022 (630 cases), broken down by sectors with at least 15 cases. Average duration is calculated in months from when the letter of formal notice was sent.
(#) = number of cases in the sector

The duration of air transport cases is inflated by factors outside the control of either the national authorities or the Commission. However, following the entry into force, of the EU-U.S. Air Transport Agreement on 29 June 2020, 20 long-standing infringement cases were closed in 2021. Since it has not been possible to make any progress on functional air blocks (19 cases) or on the bilateral agreements with Russia (26 cases), it was decided not to include the sector in the below figure.


The EU average duration of pending infringement cases not yet sent to the Court is 47.9 months.

Main findings

Longest average duration (in months)

  • Direct taxation (60.6 months, up from 50.2)
  • Environmental impact (52.5 months, up from 43.4)
  • Atmospheric pollution (52.4 months, up from 50)
  • Water protection and management (46.9 months, down from 54.5)
  • Nuclear safety and radioactive waste (44.1 months, up from 31.8)
  • Public procurement (43 months, up from 34.8)

The comment under “Indicator [3] - Duration of infringement proceedings” above on the increase in case duration by Member State is also relevant to case duration by sector. When a substantial number of quite recent cases are resolved (or if few new cases are launched), the remaining older cases have a bigger impact on the calculation of the average duration.

Types of case

Number of pending infringement cases open for late or incorrect transposition of single market directives, plus the number of cases open for incorrect application of rules – situation on 1 December 2022 (1579 cases).

  • 73% of cases concern late or incorrect transposition of directives (up from 71% in December 2021)
  • 89% of cases concern directives (up from 88%), while 11% concern regulations, decisions and Treaty articles (down from 12%)

More information

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

This document does not include cases of late transposition (known as “non-communication cases”) – except in the pie chart entitled “Types of cases”. This is to avoid such cases being counted twice, as they are already covered in the “Transposition” governance tool.

The Commission always initiates infringement proceedings if a Member State has not transposed an EU directive correctly or on time. It may also initiate proceedings if it considers that a Member State is applying single market rules incorrectly. Infringement proceedings start when the Commission sends a letter of formal notice to the Member State concerned. However, only the Court can rule definitively that a breach of EU law has occurred.

More about infringement procedures.

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