The European Commission takes Greece, Malta, Luxemburg and United Kingdom to the Court of Justice

The European Commission is taking a number of member states to the Court of Justice because they have not satisfied their “communication obligation” arising from Directive 2004/38/EC.

On 15 December 2006 the Commission delivered reasoned opinions to thirteen Member States that had not yet fulfilled their obligations.

Even though efforts in transposition have been stepped up since then, Greece, Luxemburg and Malta have not yet complied with their communication obligation, while the UK has done so only partially. […] The Commission is examining the communications of a number of other Member States concerned and if necessary will take further procedural steps in due course.

I agree that many member states have been very lax in communicating useful accessible information about their transposition of the Directive. It is, for example, a real slog finding links to the legislation in each member state! Where is the quality information on embassy web sites for family of EU citizens who require visas or work permits ahead of their Residence Card? Were is the clear information about simplified procedures for visits and visas? (And since the information is most useful to people who may not speak the local language, where are the translations?).

But really, this is a bit strange. The real problem is in the transpositions of the Directive, and even more importantly in the day-to-day implementation of that transposition by embassies and member state bureaucracies. Is improved communication really going to make much difference?

But thinking about it, it might be a smart way of getting member states to actually implement what they already have as national law.  Tweaking the law to fix problems in the transposition can come later.

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