Late in adopting EU law

Greece remains among the European Union’s laggards in harmonizing its national law to Community legislation on the internal market, according to data released in Brussels yesterday. All member states should have incorporated into their own legislations 1,620 directives by June 1, but the Commission finds that Greece was behind on 62 (or 3.8 percent), the same number as Italy and Luxembourg. Small though the number may seem in comparison, it happens to be the highest in the 25-member EU. Indeed, three of these directives should have passed into Greek legislation at least two years ago and, as a result, 98 legal proceedings had been initiated against the country for violating Community legislation by January 1. By comparison, Cyprus, which became an EU member in April 2004, had a deficit of only 17 non-incorporated directives (1 percent) and has 16 legal proceedings pending against it. The average percentage of directives pending incorporation into national bodies of law in the EU is now 1.9 percent, a deterioration from last November’s 1.6 percent. «Being so near the target should have acted as an incentive for even greater effort,» said Financial Services Commissioner Charlie MacKreevy. «On the contrary, we have found ourselves even farther from the target.»