Dawdling EU countries smacked over telecoms reforms
Citizens were supposed to get rights to info on ISPs and cookie-tracking
The European Commission has sent formal requests to 16 EU countries asking them to completely transpose the EU's Telecoms Package of reforms into national law.
The "reasoned opinions" have been issued six months after the countries were supposed to have fully implemented the new laws. The reforms gave individuals several new rights, including the right to better information about how ISPs manage access to their networks and set out a requirement for website owners to obtain consent from users in order to track their online behaviour.
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain have still to fully implement all of the reforms, the Commission said.
The Commission can take legal action against countries that do not correctly transpose EU law or fail to notify that they have passed national measures to implement EU rules.
The Commission previously issued 20 EU member states with letters of formal notice regarding the reforms in July. The letters are the first legal stage open to the Commission when it identifies infringements from countries that have not enacted EU laws. The letters required member states to detail their views on any infringements they may have made.
Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Slovakia have subsequently fully implemented the EU reforms into national law, but the remaining 16 countries have still to do so, the Commission said. In the second stage of its infringement proceedings the Commission has now issued "reasoned opinions" to each of the 16 states. The opinions formally request that countries comply with EU law within a set timescale, usually two months.
Countries that do not comply with the requirements of EU law can be referred to the European courts. The European Court of Justice can order EU member countries to implement EU Directives and fine them if they do not.
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Don't tell me
Let me guess: Britain and Scandinavia implement the directive straight away (with Britain gold-plating the legislation to create lots of highly paid jobs for pointless bureaucrats). Germany plans to implement it, but it requires the agreement of all 16 Länder, which takes an unfeasibly long time. France finds lots of constitutional arguments to ignore it, and the rest of the EU doesn't even realise it's a requirement.
No change from any other piece of EU law, then.
You could forgive some of the smaller countries for maybe be a little bit less organised about it, some of them aren't long freed from the grip of mother Russia, and Poland did lose a big chunk of their government in a plane crash, but that list isn't just the old Eastern block is it, the big (and small) western players are in there too. In fact some of the old Eastern block countries have implemented it successfully.
So which ones are too disorganised to implement it, and which ones are just too top heavy with red tape that they're still trying to slow the bureaucratic oil tanker down before they can make a slight manoeuvre?
The French of course will have their own third category as usual - don't like it, will ignore it.
Still slightly amazed the UK isn't on the list. I guess implementing it in law is one thing, enforcing it is something else entirely.
That the UK is not on the list. Ive yet to be asked by a website owner for my permission to follow me online. P'raps weve actually 'done a French' and pretended to implement it but actually done nothing?