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E.C. shames tardy states


European Union Member States have become worse at the implementation of Directives according to latest figures from the European Commission.

According to the Commission's latest Internal Market Scoreboard, on average 1.6% of Internal Market Directives for which the implementation deadline has passed are not currently written into national law.

This is up from the best-ever result of 1.2% that was reported in January this year. This means that the average deficit remains above the new 1% interim target agreed by Heads of State in March 2007, said the Commission in a statement.

"Nevertheless the Commission sees reasons for optimism as to the next overall result in January 2008, with most Member States appearing to be on the right track and nine Member States having already reached the new 1% target," it said.

It also added, however, that Member States too often fail to apply Internal Market rules correctly and pointed out that only four Member States have managed to reduce the number of infringement proceedings against them.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "This result might seem disappointing at first sight, given that the recent positive trend was reversed. For some Member States the result is very disappointing. But overall there are signs that we will be back on track again in six months' time. I hope this will be the case. Member States now need to focus on correctly applying Internal Market rules and on solving infringement cases more quickly than is the case today."