Commission Directive 80/723/EEC imposes a general transparency obligation on financial relations between public authorities and public undertakings. The Directive (as amended) also requires Member States to collect and submit to the Commission, upon request, certain financial data concerning large public undertakings active in the manufacturing sector. Commission Directive 2005/81/EC modified the definition of undertakings required to keep separate accounts. Member States were required to implement Commission Directive 2005/81/EC into national law by 19 December 2006.

The European Commission has now issued a press release stating that it has decided to send formal requests for information under EC Treaty infringement procedures (Article 226) to Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg and the UK for their failure to notify the Commission of national measures to implement Commission Directive 2005/81/EC which amends Directive 80/723/EEC on financial relations between public authorities and public undertakings. In addition, the Commission has also decided to address similar formal requests to the Slovak Republic and Latvia, which have notified implementing measures which do not comply with the requirements of the Directive. The requests take the form of letters of formal notice, the first stage of infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. The Member States now have two months to reply to the Commission.

View Striving for a Single European Market - The role of accounting, 7 November 2007