EU to bring State to court over directives


The EU Commission is taking Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement two crucial transport directives.

The Commission is also to issue written warnings to the Government in the New Year over its failure to implement other directives covering waste management and the regulation of heavy commercial vehicles.

In total, Ireland has failed to implement more than 100 EU directives, some of which are more than three years late in being passed into Irish law, The Irish Times has learned.

Almost half of the 100-plus directives which have to be implemented come under the auspices of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

The Department of Transport has a total of 20 directives yet to be implemented.

The EU Commission has confirmed it is taking Ireland to the Court of Justice for failing to implement two directives covering safety rules on transportable pressure equipment such as cylinders, drums and tanks. The State should have adopted the directives by December 1st, 2000, and July 1st, 2001.

The Commission has also signalled its intention to send a final written warning to Ireland and six other member-states for failing to bring in new regulations to introduce random roadside checks to improve the safety and environmental performance of heavy goods vehicles.

The Commission is also to issue a final written warning over Ireland's failure to apply certain provisions of the Packaging Waste Directive.

Ireland is one of a half a dozen states singled out by the Commission for non-compliance with EU waste laws.

A Commission spokesperson said it deemed it "urgent that member-states bring legislation into force, as expected".

Up to October 31st this year, Ireland had implemented 96.22 per cent of Commission directives. This places the State ninth out of 15 member-states in terms of implementing directives.

Denmark had the highest percentage of implemented directives (98.11 per cent), while France had the lowest figure (95.26 per cent).

The EU directives awaiting legislation range from the working hours of seafarers, to the keeping of animals in zoos, to the transport of goods by rail.

A Government spokeswoman said the implementation of directives was a matter for the individual departments.