The European Commission considers that the Italian provisions on the establishment of service stations are contrary to Article 43 of the EC Treaty, which provides for freedom of establishment within the European Union. These provisions, which are laid down at both national and regional level with regard to the retail distribution of fuel, impose a number of restrictions that make it extremely difficult for new competitors from other EU Member States to enter the Italian market. Following its reasoned opinion of June 2007, the Commission has decided to move on to the next stage in the infringement proceedings, granting Italy a period of four months before bringing the matter before the European Court of Justice.