On 8 December the European Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Ireland and 14 other Member States requesting them to fully transpose one or more of the three new directives on public procurement and concessions into national law (Directives 2014/23/EC, 2014/24/EC and 2014/25/EC). A reasoned opinion is a formal determination by the European Commission that a Member State in is in breach of its legal obligations under EU law.
The request to Ireland concerns the failure to implement the Concessions Directive (Directive 2014/23/EC) into Irish law by the deadline of 18 April 2016. 11 Member States have yet to implement any of the new procurement directives into national law. Ireland has two months to notify the Commission of measures taken to bring national legislation in line with EU law.
If Ireland fails to comply with the reasoned opinion, the Commission can initiate infringement proceedings in the Court of Justice of the European Union. The implications for failure to comply with EU law can be significant and can lead to financial penalties being imposed. In approximately 95% of infringement cases, Member States comply with their obligations under EU law before they are referred to the Court of Justice.