The Court of Justice of the EU has fined Ireland €2m and Romania €3m for failure to transpose MLD4. Both jurisdictions had neither transposed the Directive in full nor notified the Commission of the measures they had taken by the implementation deadline.
Both Member States disputed the penalty system, saying the Commission’s application for a lump sum for both unjustified and disproportionate. They said the Commission had not provided a detailed statement of reasons for its wish to impose the penalty.
The Court upheld the Commission’s case. It said that at the date MLD4 should have been implemented neither Romania nor Ireland had done so or notified the Commission of implementing measures – both of which actions breached the Directive. It also said the Commission does not have to give reasons for its decisions, although it should give reasons for the nature and amount of the penalty it seeks. Finally, it said that lump sum fines had the dual purpose of inducing swift compliance and speeding up the enforcement process. It said the fact that the two countries had implemented by the time the case came to court made no difference to this.
In Ireland’s case, the Commission also dismissed various arguments aimed at showing that Ireland had at least partially implemented MLD4 at an early stage.