EU Commission Issues Final Warning to Bulgaria in Four Areas

Bulgaria in EU | November 26, 2014, Wednesday // 15:05|  views

The European Commission on Wednesday asked Bulgaria to comply properly with EU law in four areas or face referral to the European Union's Court of Justice.

The four sectors, on which the EU executive body has issued reasoned opinions on Bulgaria, are exchange of information on traffic offences, energy efficiency, citizens' exposure to sulphur dioxide and the setting up of penalties against airlines breaching EU traffic management rules.

The reasoned opinions, the second stage of the EU infringement procedures, are part of the European Commission's monthly package of infringement decisions, in which the Commission is pursuing legal action against member states for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law.

The package unveiled on Wednesday comprises 205 decisions relating to 21 EU member states, including 32 reasoned opinions and six referrals to the Court of Justice.

Bulgaria has two months to notify the Commission in measures it had taken to fully implement the directive on the cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences. The directive, which covers offences such as speeding and drunk driving, allows EU drivers to be identified and thus prosecuted for offences committed in a member state other than the one where their vehicle is registered.

In the sector of energy efficiency, Bulgaria has two months to ensure the full transposition of the Energy Efficiency Directive into national law. The directive requires member states to achieve certain energy savings over the period from 1 January
2014 until 31 December 2020.

With its reasoned opinion on limiting citizens' exposure to sulphur dioxide the Commission is asking Bulgaria to take forward-looking, speedy and effective action to keep the period of non-compliance as short as possible. The EU's Air Quality Directive
obliges member states to observe both the hourly and daily limits for exposure, as well as to establish air quality plans setting out appropriate measures to reduce sulphur dioxide levels. If Bulgaria fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice.

Bulgaria also has two months to notify the Commission of the measures taken to apply the regulation that establishes common rules for the management of air traffic flows in the EU. It requires airlines to respect the flight plans and airport slots assigned to them, and member states to set up penalties in case of violation. Bulgaria should have introduced the respective national legislation by September 2011 but has failed so far to do so.


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Tags: Court of Justice, traffic offences, Energy efficiency, exposure to sulphur dioxide, air traffic management rules, reasoned opinion, legal action, infringement decisions


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