New wake-up call European Comission al Ministry of Transport for not transposing in time a community regulation implemented in time. Brussels has recently sent a warning letter to the department that heads Rachel Sanchez, with the objective of explaining and determining when the adaptation of the law that governs the safety regulations in the State road network will be effective. The letter is Europe’s first step before going to great lengths and drawing up an opinion or, in the worst case, referring the paralysis to the High Court of Justice of the European Union (CJUE) to take action on the matter.
The decision of the community organizations has taken place in spite of the fact that last week Transportes made a move. The ministry announced the approval of the Royal Decree which modified the old directive and thus updated the regulations on road infrastructure safety management. According explained from La Moncloa, with this new movement, the decision made by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe on October 23, 2019.
Despite this, two days later, Brussels updated its list of infractions on community countries and gave a new warning to the Ministry of Transport. This is the first letter of summons that Minister Sánchez receives during this 2022, but since she relieved Jose Luis Abalos in office he already accumulates more than a slap on the wrist. The previous one came on the occasion of the electric car law, for which Transports finally reacted and ended up adapting out of time and expressly regulations to European standards. Regarding the new letter from Brussels recently sent to the Government, the Ministry of Transport has not made any statements to Information.
The summons letter is the first avenue of dialogue that Brussels opens with the Member States when they are not doing their homework. The next step is to offer Spain the opportunity to present its observations and, if the case is not closed, the following could be to prepare a reasoned opinion that proves the lack of agility of the Executive. In the worst case and provided that the avenues mentioned above have been exhausted, the State could begin to receive sanctions for repeatedly failing to follow the instructions.
We must not forget that Spain exhausted this last phase last year. The slowness in the reform of the Data Protection Law resulted in a fine of 15 million euros and another 89,000 euros to be paid for each day of delay that it took from that moment until it caught up. It was an unprecedented case. given that never before had the CJEU imposed two types of sanction simultaneously in all of history. In this case, the conflict started in the summer of 2018. In defense of his actions, the Executive alleged “very exceptional institutional circumstances” because he was in office.
Reduction of accidents
The new guidelines established strategic objectives for the European Union to halve the number of deaths on the road by 2020 -compared to 2010- and, furthermore, to be closer each year to the objective of zero fatalities, a goal that had to be met by 2050 . Each Member State had a period of time to notify the Commission of their actions until December 17. They also had to report the list of highways and main roads in the country that are exempt or included in the scope of the directive.
All in all, Spain has been reducing road accident data in recent years. The figures presented this month of January reveal a drop in the number of deaths on both main and secondary roads, according to the latest annual report. Its about second best year in the historical series, since it is only behind 2020. However, the year marked by the pandemic presents statistics distorted by the harsh restrictive measures on mobility, such as home confinement that lasted almost two months with the first state of alarm.