1. Home
  2. Law
  3. A Practical Guide to the Infringement Procedure: How to Respond to Commission Investigations and Avoid Court Cases

A Practical Guide to the Infringement Procedure: How to Respond to Commission Investigations and Avoid Court Cases

Make your national administration a winner in EU infringement procedures: respond persuasively to Commission allegations, avoid the risk of a court case, a condemnatory ruling and potential financial sanctions for your national administration.

About this course

This highly practical course will provide you with a sophisticated understanding of the infringement procedure (Articles 258 to 260 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) – the main enforcement mechanism enacted by the Commission against a Member State in case of a presumed breach of its obligations under EU law.

By participating in this course, you will learn the practical insights of the procedure. You will also acquire the professional skills required to give persuasive answers to the inquiries of the Commission, to voluntarily remedy the alleged infringement and avoid a potential court case against your state and, ultimately, a condemnatory ruling and potential financial sanction.

What will you learn

This course will provide you with a practical understanding of the infringement procedure, analysing in detail the role of the Commission and the position of the Member States.

This will allow you to understand the capacities and prerogatives of both actors, determining the different respective administrative and procedural strategies, which they can resort to throughout the procedure.

If you are a national official, the course will equip you with the right methodology to improve the capacity and quality of your national administration responses to Commission investigations on alleged infringements.

In the potential scenario of the initiation of the jurisdictional phase of the procedure, the course will also help you to select the right defence strategy to improve your state’s position during the litigation.

In case of a final condemnatory ruling after the procedure, this course will show you tips on how to comply with the judicial decision as swiftly as possible and hence avoid a new procedure, under Article 260 TFEU.

Course methodology/highlights

The course will be conducted by legal experts of proven experience on infringement matters who will discuss key topics, illustrated with examples and cases from litigation practice.

All sessions will be followed by periods of Q & A for the exchange of ideas, and discussions where participants will have the opportunity to share professional experiences.

The various group exercises, workshops and discussions featured in the course will promote a high level of interactivity and provide enhanced learning opportunities.

Related publications

Sharpening the Teeth of the Infringement Procedure, by Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas Díaz
Making European Policies Work – Evolving Challenges and New Approaches in EU Law Enforcement, by Godefroy de Moncuit de Boiscuillé, Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas Díaz and Petra Jeney

 

 

Prior to the course, you will be given access to the course materials on our digital learning platform. This includes a short questionnaire, which will help us identify any specific questions you may have so we can consider as many of them as possible during the course.

Preparatory reading and materials will be placed on the platform to facilitate joining the course. All course materials will be made available for the participants.

After the event, additional materials and references to relevant literature, documents and websites will be available on our learning platform.

Public sector employees, in charge of or involved in the transposition of EU law and state officials and legal counsellors answering / preparing the defences of the state in all stages of the infringement procedure, irrespective of the level of government or origin of the case (i.e. national, regional and local level).

State agents acting before the CJEU and pleading on behalf of their states in infringement proceedings.

Private practicing lawyers, consultants and other interested actors from the private sector, who wish to update their knowledge on the infringement procedure and obtain a comprehensive overview.

Online Course
For this online course we make use of Zoom

Programme Organiser
Ms Stéphanie Gemnig Comodi
Tel: +352 426 230 301
s.gemnig@eipa.eu

Discounts
EIPA member fee
EIPA offers a discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?
Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies

Early bird discount
The early bird discount is not cumulative with other discounts or promo codes, except for the EIPA member fee.

Confirmation
Confirmation of registration will be forwarded to participants on receipt of the completed online registration form.

Payment
Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy
For administrative reasons you will be charged €150 for cancellations received within 15 days before the activity begins. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants. EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 2 weeks before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed. EIPA accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred (travel, accommodation, etc.).

Download the brochure

I have a question

Our experts

Programme

09.30Welcome and introduction to the course by the experts
Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas Díaz, Senior Lecturer, European Centre for Judges and Lawyers, EIPA Luxembourg
Minas Konstantinidis, Member of the Legal Service, European Commission, Brussels
09.45The infringement procedure – a commented introduction

  • Nature the procedure and its relation with other judicial and administrative procedures;
  • Concept of infringement: which EU law obligations can be breached and how?
  • Identity of the parties in the procedure;
  • Which is the role of the Commission throughout the procedure and what are its prerogatives and obligations?
10.30Q & A Session
10.45Break
11.15Dealing with the Commission during the pre-litigation phase (1)

EU Pilot

  • Purpose;
  • Types of files and queries introduced into the system;
  • System of operation;
  • Obligations of the Member State;
  • Analysis of performance indicators.

Letter of formal notice:

  • Contents of the letter of formal notice;
  • Obligation for the Member State to respond:
  • How to respond to the letter of formal notice?
  • Type and content of reply;
  • Member States’ potential answers and their possible outcomes:
    • Classification of the complaint and closure of the file
    • Institution of the proceedings
11.45Q & A Session 
12.00Dealing with the Commission during the pre-litigation phase (2)

Reasoned opinion

  • Contents and formal requirements of the reasoned opinion
  • Responding efficiently and effectively to the reasoned opinion – some tips
  • Assessing the conformity of the measures taken by the Member States to comply with the reasoned opinion
  • Member States’ conduct and their possible outcomes:
    • Classification of the of the complaint and closure of the file
    • The case is brought before the Court of Justice
12.30Plenary discussion: Practical questions that may be raised during the pre-litigation phase

  • Is there a difference between cases concerning formal implementation on the one hand and a complaint based on content of the national measure?
  • In which instances can a Member State allege that the time period prescribed by Commission’s reasoned opinion to present allegations is insufficient?
  • What is the value of the time period marked in the reasoned opinion for the determination of the infringement?
  • What is the legal value of the measures that reasoned opinion may propose the Member States to adopt to remedy the infringement?
  • Can the Member State still at this stage avoid a court case and how?
13.00Lunch break
14.00The litigation phase: practical guide on the procedure before the Court

  • The Commission brings the matter before the Court of Justice: examining the admissibility of the Commission’s application
  • The proceedings per se:
  • Written phase: the application, the defence, the reply and the rejoinder
  • The submission of the judicial documents, the service of documents and the time-limits
  • Measures of organisation of procedure and preparatory inquiries
  • The oral procedure and the arguments of the parties
  • Conduct of proceedings, simultaneous interpretation, duration and practical advice
  • Prerogatives and obligations (burden of the proof et al.) of the Commission at the litigation phase
15.00Q & A Session
15.15Break
15.45Practical workshop on procedural tips and strategies to improve the Member State’s position before the Court

  • What happens in the court proceedings (what documents to file, how is the oral presentation prepared)? Who represents the State?
  • What can a Member State do to improve its situation during the litigation?
  • What options does the Member State have before the Court, including whether the Member State still can remedy the “damage” done with a view to make the Commission withdraw the case?
  • Who pays what court costs?
16.30End of first day
09.15Introduction to the second day by the experts
Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas Díaz
Minas Konstantinidis
09.30Workshop: Possible defences of the Member States

In an interactive way, participants will have the possibility to analyse different potential defences Member States may resort to and to compare with the Court of Justice’s reaction to those defences.

  • Parallel application;
  • Minimal default to fulfil the obligations
  • Opportunity
  • “Time overpassed”
  • Modification of the rules at the origin of infringement
  • Shortness of the time-limit set out to transpose EU law
  • Reciprocity
  • Force majeure
  • Unlawfulness (illegality of the measure)
  • Elimination of infringement after the expiry of the time limit set out in the reasoned opinion
  • Execution of an EU obligation “in equivalent practice”
10.30Break
11.00The decision of the Court and its effects

  • Declaratory character of the decisions delivered by the Court of Justice
  • Legal force of the judgement and obligations for Member States:
  • Duty to take all necessary measures to put an end to the infringement
  • Duty to repeal the national measures contrary to EU law
11.45Plenary discussion: Complying with the Court’s judgement

  • Tips and strategies to ensure full execution of the judgement and avoid an article 260 TFEU procedure: Who? What and How?
  • Are there any time limits to comply with the judgement?
  • Can a condemnatory judgement be the basis for State liability?
12.30Lunch break
13.30Sanctions for failure to comply with the judgment

  • Article 260 TFEU
  • Lump sum or penalty payment
  • Court’s discretion
  • Criteria to establish the amount of the sanctions: Commission’s guidelines and the approach of the Court
  • Enforcement of the article 268 TFEU judgement. The role of the Commission and potential litigation
14.15Q & A Session
14.30Break
15.00Practical exercise: the infringement procedure in 10 case studies

In this session, participants will have the opportunity to work with different case studies that deal with all phases of the procedure presented during the online workshop and to analyse the Court of Justice’s decision in each case.

16.00Conclusions and evaluation
16.30End of the online course

What former participants say

Leave a review

Review
Privacy

No reviews found

A Practical Guide to the Infringement Procedure: How to Respond to Commission Investigations and Avoid Court Cases

14 Jun 2022 - 15 Jun 2022
Online
English

Simultaneous interpretation can be offered. Contact the programme organizer for more information and conditions.

SKU: 2252202
Register before: 7 Jun 2022
 700 per attendee
 630 for EIPA members
Registration closed

Discount policy

EIPA offers a discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?

Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Early bird discount

For a limited number of training courses, EIPA offers an early bird discount.

For more information please contact us.

Subscribe to our newsletter

SKU: 2252202
Register before: 7 Jun 2022

Related courses