The UK’s failure to nominate a new commissioner for the duration of its extension of membership as a result of its upcoming national elections in December has pushed the European Commission to launch infringement proceedings against London.

Brussels’ treaties foresee that when a member of the bloc fails to communicate measures that fully transpose the provisions of directives, or doesn’t rectify the suspected violation of an EU law, the Commission may launch a formal infringement procedure.

The Commission’s decision on October 29 to extended the Article 50 period for the UK clearly stated that a “further extension cannot be allowed to undermine the regular functioning of the bloc and its institutions…it will have consequence that the United Kingdom will remain a Member State with full rights and obligations, including the obligation to suggest a candidate for appointment as a member of the Commission until the new withdrawal date”.

Brussels also said it would establish an EU case-law through the European Court of Justice, which concluded that any member of the bloc may not invoke provisions prevailing of its domestic legal system to justify its failure observe its obligations to the European Union.

The British government has until no later than November 22 to submit a response to the Commission’s official notification.




[1] 5 February 2015, Case C-317/14, Commission v Belgium, paragraph 33

[2] According to Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union