The European Commission has decided today to refer 6 Members States to the EU Court of Justice: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.
In all, the Commission has taken 98 decisions, including 11 reasoned opinions and 8 referrals to the European Union’s Court of Justice.
The European Commission is referring Hungary to the Court for failing to transpose the Energy Efficiency Directive. Under this directive EU Member States must meet certain energy savings targets from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2020. They have to do this by using energy efficiency obligations schemes or other targeted policy measures to drive energy efficiency improvements in households, buildings, industry and transport sectors. Member States had to transpose the obligations of that Directive by 5 June 2014.
Germany is taken to Court over its failure to apply the requirements of the Habitats Directive in relation to the authorisation of a coal power plant in Hamburg/Moorburg. The project in question risks having a negative impact on a number of protected fish species including salmon, which pass near the power plant when migrating from the North Sea to some 30 Natura 2000 sites on the Elbe, upstream of Hamburg. The species are harmed by the water abstraction process used to cool the power plant.
The United Kingdom is taken to Court over its failure to ensure that urban waste water is adequately treated in 17 agglomerations. In the EU, Member States need adequate collection and treatment systems for urban waste water, as untreated water poses risks to human health, inland waters and the marine environment.
The Commission refers Slovenia to Court for failure to clean up highly flammable waste tyres. The case concerns an illegal landfill in Lovrenc na Dravskem polju, where more than 40 000 tons of waste have been stored since 2006. Large fires broke out at this location in 2007 and 2008.
There are three successive stages in such cases of infringements: a letter of formal notice, a reasoned opinion and a referral to the European Court of Justice. If, despite the ruling, a country still fails to act, the commission may open a further infringement case and can propose that the court imposes financial penalties based on the duration and severity of the infringement and the size of the country. In the case of Hungary, for instance, while being referred to the Court, the Commission proposes a daily penalty of 15,444 € per day.
Source: http://www.neurope.eu/article/spring-cleaning-commission-takes-6-member-states-court by Dan Alexe