Flanders and EU law

In addition to the federal state, the Regions and Communities are also responsible for the ratification of European treaties and a correct and timely transposition of European Directives in Belgium.

Treaty of Lisbon

The Treaty of Lisbon is the most recent EU treaty and it is the result of several years of discussion on a new institutional structure for the European Union. The Flemish Parliament has approved the Treaty of Lisbon on 10 July 2008 and the Government of Flanders has adopted and promulgated the ratification Act on 10 October 2008.

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the Flemish Parliament has a larger say in the European decision-making process. After all, the Treaty provides more participation in the monitoring of the so-called principle of subsidiarity by the national (and for Belgium also the 'regional') parliaments. To this end, an inter-parliamentary cooperation agreement will be concluded in Belgium.

Infringement procedures

When a Member State neglects to respect the EU Law, the European Commission can initiate a treaty violation procedure against that Member State. A violation of the European law occurs when Directives are not transposed, are transposed too late or incorrectly or when other sources of European law (such as treaties, regulations and decrees) are not applied correctly.
Violations of the European law by the Flemish authorities can lead to a conviction of Belgium by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
When a “Flemish” violation dossier leads to a conviction of Belgium by the Court of Justice, the federal authorities can recover the costs of a possible fine or penalty from Flanders on the basis of an internal Belgian regulation.

Transposition of Directives

Flanders has to transpose the European Directives that pertain to its competences in the Flemish law system (via a transposition act or decree). A considerable part of these "Flemish" Directives pertain to environmental matters.

The Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs (DiV) coordinates the transposition of European Directives at the Flemish level. The DiV-Euro coordinator is also the contact person for the federal authorities and the others Regions and Communities with regard to the transposition and application of European regulation. The DiV-Euro coordinator keeps an overview of the Directives that require a transposition in the Flemish law system and of possible infringement procedures (see 'Infringements'). This overview is kept up-to-date with the cooperation of the EU regulation contact persons of the different Flemish policy areas, and is published monthly in a report to the Government of Flanders.

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