Commission refers Belgium to the Court of Justice for failing to fully implement the Single Permit Directive
Today, the European Commission decided to refer Belgium to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to fully implement the Single Permit Directive (Directive 2011/98/EU). Designed to facilitate legal migration, the Directive introduces simplified procedures and a common set of rights for non-EU workers.
The Single Permit Directive enables non-EU workers to obtain work and residence permits via a single procedure, rather than requiring separate applications for residence and work permits. It also aims at providing a clear set of rules for third country nationals working legally within the EU so that they can benefit from common rights, similar to those of EU nationals, regarding working conditions, pensions, social security and access to public services.
Member States were required to transpose this Directive in full by 25 December 2013. By that date, Belgium had only partially transposed the new rules. As a result, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Belgium in March 2014 and, subsequently a reasoned opinion in April 2015. In November 2015, the Commission referred Belgium to the Court of Justice of the EU. The referral was put on hold in April 2016, after the Belgian authorities provided additional information. However, as Belgium has still not notified the Commission of the full transposition of the Directive into its national law to date, the Commission has decided to refer the case again to the Court of Justice of the EU.
In referring Belgium to the Court of Justice of the EU, the Commission proposes a daily penalty of €70.828,80. In case the transposition remains incomplete and the Court of Justice of the EU confirms the Commission's view, the daily penalty would have to be paid from the date of the judgment or a later date set by the Court until the transposition is complete. The final amount of the daily penalty will be decided by the Court, but cannot exceed the Commission's proposal.
For further information, see the full press release on the website of the European Commission.