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Cyprus

EU calls on Cyprus to transpose outstanding directives

The European Commission called on Cyprus on Thursday to take steps to adopt measures and directives concerning among others the automatic exchange of tax rulings between EU authorities.

In total, Cyprus received five reasoned opinions, giving it two months to fulfil its obligations to transpose measures on marketing standards for certain milk products, the rules on radio equipment, the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, the new transparency rules for the exchange of tax rulings and to implement the Directive on antitrust damages actions.

The Commission can start an infringement procedure against a member-state to make it comply with EU law.

Reasoned opinions are the second stage of the infringements procedure, before the cases are referred to the Court of Justice, whose judgment is binding. In the first stage of the procedure, the Commission sends the member-state a letter of formal notice inviting it to submit its observations within two months. If the member-state fails to respond or it its observations fail to persuade the Commission, the latter may issue a reasoned opinion, providing an additional two-month period to comply.

The five reasoned letters Cyprus received, are part of the Commission’s monthly package of infringement decisions.

According to the latest annual report on monitoring the application of EU law, Cyprus, along with Belgium topped last year the list of member-states that delay in giving force to directives.

“Failure to correctly apply EU law denies citizens and businesses the rights and the benefits they enjoy under European law,” the report said. It added that it was crucial that member states transpose European directives into their national legal order within the deadlines they committed to.

At the end of 2016 Cyprus had 68 infringement cases open, 48 of which concern late transposition and the rest concern incorrect transposition and/or bad application of EU laws. In 2015 Cyprus had 47 infringement cases open, and 41 in 2014.

The late transposition infringement cases against Cyprus concern the following policy areas: financial stability, financial services and capital, health and food safety, internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and other areas concerning migration and home affairs, employment, and communication networks.

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