The EU Commission has presented a modification to its calculation methodology for financial sanctions proposed to Europe’s Court of Justice regarding infringement proceedings.
According to the EU Treaty, the Commission is entitled to send any of the Bloc’s 28 members to the Court of Justice if that individual country fails to implement a law passed down by Brussels. In certain situations, the Court also has the right to impose financial sanctions to the country in question, with the amount of the fınancial sanction proposed by the Commission.
The economic condition and the institutional weight of each EU member had been considered, along with the gravity of the infringement, when the financial sanction was being calculated. The gross domestic product was also taken as an indicator of a country’ economic situation. The number of votes allocated to that Member State in the Council was then an indicator of its institutional weight.
Recently, the Court of Justice acknowledged that a new method of calculation for financial sanctions was needed after the Council’s voting rules were changed by the Lisbon Treaty in 2014. According to the newly adopted method, the institutional weight of each EU member will be determined by the number of seats in the European Parliament, which are allocated to its representatives.
This arrangement may also promote lower financial sanctions. Thus, the amount of the fines will approach the fines imposed by the Court, which is generally lower than the fines proposed by the Commission.
After Brexit legally takes place, the relevant averages will be readjusted.
With this new method, the Commission aims to continue to be fair and balanced to all Member States.