The European Commission had enough of Italy’s delays in complaining with the Directive, and took us to the European Court of Justice. If found guilty, there will be a fine of € 150,000 a day for each day of violation. Italy is also asked to amend its water legislation.
Italy could be forced to pay huge fines to the European Commission: the Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik has decided to take Italy to the European Court of Justice for not complying with the Directive on animal testing. If found guilty, Italy could pay a daily fine of € 150.787. Penalties are to be paid from the date of the judgment – assuming the Member State is still not compliant – until the enactment process is completed. Italy risks being stung the day in which things seemed to get better for us: in the January infringement package, only two decisions were taken against Italy, in 29 total possible infringements (22 reasoned opinions and 7 referrals to the European Union’s Court of Justice).
Italy pays for continued and prolonged delay. Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animal used for scientific purposes was to be enacted in Italian legislation by 10 November 2012. Two years were not enough for Italy, and the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Italy on 31 January 2013. No reasonable answer came from Italy, and the Commission sent a reasoned opinion in the summer, on 21 June 2012. Italy replied that enactment was expected by December 2013, before postponing enactment to February 2014. The Commission has had enough of these delays and is not sure whether to trust Italy on the matter: the EC, explained Potocnick, “is concerned that further delays cannot be excluded”. Therefore, a Court summons was sent.
Another potential Court summons to add: Italian legislation on water does not comply with the communitarian one. Commissioner Potocnick has sent a reasoned opinion asking for an amendment of national water legislation. Just a step before a Court summons: if Italy fails to comply with the Directive, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice. The EC is concerned that Italy does not have minimum requirements of programmes and measures to prevent or control the input of pollutants.