The European Commission has adopted its Strategy for the effective implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights by the European Union. The main points:
1. Guaranteeing that the EU is beyond reproach in upholding fundamental rights
All proposals for EU legislation must respect the Charter. On the basis of a fundamental rights “check list,” the Commission services will identify which fundamental rights could be affected by a proposal and assess systematically the impact on these rights of each envisaged policy option.
The Commission will launch an inter-institutional dialogue to determine methods for dealing with amendments that raise questions of compatibility with fundamental rights.
The Commission will use all tools available, including infringement proceedings when necessary, to ensure compliance with the Charter in the implementation of EU law.
2. Improving information for citizens
Citizens will have access to information about legal remedies in all Member States through the Commission’s new e-Justice portal in 2011.
The Commission will explain when it can and cannot intervene on fundamental rights complaints where these are outside the scope of EU competence.
3. Monitoring progress
The Commission will publish an Annual Report on the application of the Charter. The report will monitor progress in the areas where the EU has powers to act: showing how the Charter has been taken into account in concrete cases (such as when new legislation is proposed).
The Report on progress in creating the internal gas and electricity market says that the correct transposition of the European electricity and gas legislation in all Member States is still not complete.
The key violations identified lack of transparency, insufficient coordination efforts by transmission system operators to make maximum interconnection capacity available, absence of regional cooperation, lack of enforcement action by the competent authorities in Member States and the lack of adequate dispute settlement procedure.
A European Commission study recommends setting up a dedicated European body to oversee the implementation and enforcement of EU waste law. The new agency should tackle the underlying problems of poor implementation and enforcement of European waste legislation. The scale of the problem has grown in recent years following increases in waste generated and shipped in the enlarged EU.
Current gaps in implementation and enforcement have led to wide-scale illegal dumping and large numbers of landfills and other facilities and sites that do not meet EU standards. In some Member States, waste infrastructure is inadequate or missing.
The European Court of Auditors has issued an overall positive report on the EU budget implementation for 2008. The error rate in the “Agriculture and natural resources” sector is substantially lower.
For Bulgaria the main concerns remain the management and control of funds in agriculture – both under pre-accession funding and from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) after the accession.