In all areas of business, numerous provisions of EU law confer direct and indirect rights and obligations on businesses and enterprises of the Member States. The law of the European Union has become an integral and equal part of the national legal systems of the Member States. The authorities in each Member State – among them in Hungary – are primarily responsible for implementing EU law into national law and enforcing it correctly.
If an individual or business entity considers any measure or practice attributable to a Member State incompatible a provision or a principle of EU law or a national authority may not ensure the full effectiveness of Union law, they can lodge a written complaint to the European Commission.
The complaints and correspondence submitted will always be examined by the services and departments of the European Commission. Any complaint should be as complete and accurate as possible, particularly as regards the facts complained of in relation to the Member State in question and as far as possible the provisions of EU law which you consider to have been infringed by the Member State.
The Commission will not disclose the identity of the complainants unless they have given it their express permission to do so.
If the Commission that the complaint is well-founded and there may be an infringement of Union law which may require the opening of an infringement procedure, it addresses a letter of formal notice to the Member State concerned. In the light of the reply or the absence of a reply from the Member State, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion to the Member State and calling on the Member State to take the necessary measures to comply with Union law within a specified period.
If the Member State fails to comply with the reasoned opinion, the Commission may decide to bring the case before the Court of Justice of the European Union. At the close of the procedure, the Court of Justice will deliver a judgment stating whether there has been an infringement of Union law. After announcement of the judgement the Member State concerned has to take all necessary measures to comply with Union law as decided by the Court of Justice. If the Member State does still not comply, the Commission may again bring the matter before the Court of Justice seeking to have periodic penalty payments or a lump sum payment imposed on the Member State.
However, please note that the national authorities and courts in each Member State are primarily responsible for implementing European Union law into national law and ensuring that it is enforced correctly. Therefore, it is essential that the complainants seek redress from national administrative or judicial authorities.
A well-prepared, complete and accurate complaint is essential for being regarded as well-founded for initiation an infringement procedure against a Member State.
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