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News article15 July 2021

July infringements package: key decisions on Cyprus

In its regular package of infringement decisions, the European Commission pursues legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law.

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These decisions, covering various sectors and EU policy areas, aim to ensure the proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses.

The key decisions taken by the Commission are presented below and grouped by policy area. The Commission is also closing 108 cases in which the issues with the Member States concerned have been solved without the Commission needing to pursue the procedure further.

For more information on the EU infringement procedure, see the full Q&A. For more detail on all decisions taken, consult the infringement decisions' register. For the all package, see July infringements package: key decisions.

 

1. Migration, Home Affairs and Security Union

Fight against terrorism: Commission urges CYPRUS, CZECHIA, GREECE, SPAIN and LITHUANIA to ensure correct transposition of EU rules on combating terrorism

The Commission decided today to open infringement procedures by sending letters of formal notice to Cyprus, Czechia, Greece, Spain and Lithuania for failing to correctly transpose certain elements of the EU rules on combating terrorism (Directive (EU) 2017/541). The Directive on combating terrorism is a key element of the EU's Counter-Terrorism Agenda and includes provisions that criminalise and sanction terrorist-related offences, such as travelling abroad to commit a terrorist offence, returning to or travelling within the EU for such activities, training for terrorist purposes and financing terrorism. In addition, EU rules set out special provisions for victims of terrorism to ensure they have access to reliable information as well as professional and specialist support services, in the immediate aftermath of an attack and for as long as necessary. Member States had to transpose the Directive into national law by 8 September 2018. Cyprus, Czechia, Greece, Spain and Lithuania now have two months to respond to the arguments put forward by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may send a reasoned opinion.

(For more information: Adalbert Jahnz – Tel.: + 32 229 53156; Laura Bérard – Tel.: + 32 229 55721; Ciara Bottomley – Tel.: +32 229 69971)

 

2. Taxation and Customs Union

Taxation: Commission takes action against CYPRUS for failure to comply with EU VAT rules for dwellings

The European Commission has decided to send a letter of formal notice to Cyprus for its failure to properly apply EU VAT rules for dwellings purchased or constructed in Cyprus. Cyprus allows a reduced rate of VAT of 5% on the first 200m2 of dwellings used as the principal and permanent residence by the beneficiary, without any other limitations. In particular, the reduced rate is applied regardless of the income, assets and economic situation of the beneficiary, the members of the family that will reside in the dwelling, and the maximum total area of the dwellings concerned. The VAT Directive does allow Member States to apply a reduced rate of VAT on housing as part of a social policy. However, the wide scope of the Cypriot legislation and the lack of limitations therein indicate that the measure goes beyond the objective of a social policy. Consequently, the Commission considers Cyprus has failed to fulfil its obligations under the VAT Directive. Cyprus now has two months to address the shortcomings identified in this letter of formal notice. If Cyprus does not take appropriate steps within the next two months, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

(For more information: Daniel Ferrie – Tel.: +32 229 86500, Nerea Artamendi Erro – Tel.: +32 2 29 90964)

 

3. Mobility and Transport

Single European Sky: Commission urges 6 Member States to comply with EU rules on the provision of data link services

The Commission today decided to send reasoned opinions to Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia for failing to provide and operate data link services for all operators of appropriately equipped aircraft flying within the airspace under their responsibility. The decision follows letters of formal notice sent on 15 May 2020, and additional letters of formal notice sent on 18 February 2021. Each Member State is required by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 29/2009, in conjunction with Article 4(3) TEU, to take these measures so that designated air traffic service providers are able to provide and operate these services. Communications between aircraft and the ground conveyed through data links complement the voice communications used traditionally between the cockpit and air traffic control centres. Deploying this interoperable technology in Europe is essential to improving the efficiency of communications between pilots and controllers, thereby increasing air traffic control capacity. The deadline for the providers to operate data link services expired and a lack of equipment in certain control centres is effectively preventing aircraft operators, which were also required to equip themselves with the technology, from using data link services. The Member States concerned now have two months to take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

(For more information: Stefan de Keersmaecker – Tel.: +32 229 84680, Anna Wartberger - Tel.: +32 22982054)

 

4. Jobs and social rights

Posting of workers: Commission calls on 24 Member States to comply with EU Posting of Workers Enforcement Directive

The Commission decided today to open infringement procedures by sending letters of formal notice to Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovenia,Slovakia and Finland for failing to bring various national provisions in line with the Enforcement Directive on Posting of Workers (2014/67/EU). The Enforcement Directive aims to strengthen the practical application of the rules on posting of workers by addressing issues related to fighting fraud and circumvention of rules, access to information, and administrative cooperation between EU Member States. In particular, the Enforcement Directive defines the administrative requirements and control measures that Member States may impose to monitor compliance with the rules on posting of workers; defends the rights of posted workers and protects them from retaliation (unfavourable treatment by their employer in case they take legal or administrative action against the employer if their rights are not respected); ensures that the rights of posted workers in subcontracting situations are protected; ensures the effective application and collection of administrative penalties and fines across EU Member States; obliges Member States to put in place effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties. The Commission is engaging in a dialogue with the 24 EU Member States who have not correctly transposed some or all of the above-mentioned provisions of the Directive. The Commission intends to ensure that the rules in place will allow for posting of workers to continue on the Single Market without unnecessary hindrances for employers, while ensuring the rights of the posted workers. The Member States concerned now have two months to take the necessary measures, otherwise the Commission may decide to send reasoned opinions.

(For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel.: +32 229 87024; Flora Matthaes – Tel.: +32 229 83951)

Details

Publication date
15 July 2021