No other country seems to lecture EU states as much as Germany. But, embarrassingly, Angela Merkel’s government is in breach of European regulations more than anyone else.
Yes, it’s really true: Germany is the top rule breaker in the European Union. The country, which has lectured debt sinners like Greece, performs worst in complying with European Union legislation. Physician, heal thyself.
New figures from Germany’s Economics Ministry reveal that Angela Merkel’s government currently faces no less than 74 infringement proceedings for failing to adequately and timely convert EU rules into German law. “We’re no longer the model pupil – we’re bottom of the class,” Green Party politician Markus Tressel told Handelsblatt. The Green Party requested the numbers from the ministry.
The latest available EU-wide data, which uses figures from the end of 2016, already shows Germany topping the list of violators, together with Spain. And though the ministry’s new figures show a decrease, it’s still 20-percent higher than in 2012. “The government performs badly in converting EU directives into national law, especially in the areas of traffic and environment,” said Mr. Tressel.
The violations cover key issues affecting health and safety, including air pollution, traffic noise, fire protection measures and water quality, according to the ministry’s figures. Germany’s transportation ministry currently faces 20 infringement procedures, while the environment and finance ministries come in second and third.
To a certain degree, the new revelations are a deja-vu of 2003, when Germany was the first country to break deficit rules that apply to all 19 euro-zone countries. Frugal European countries, especially Germany, had been pushing for strict regulations to limit budget deficits and debt levels. When Germany failed to reign in its deficit in the aftermath of the dot.com bust and ensuing recession, it agreed with France the rules didn’t apply.
The new figures also show that Germany sometimes simply doesn’t bother to create the necessary corresponding laws.
Full article: Germany is the leading breaker of EU rules (Handelsblatt Global)