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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The infringement process contained in Article 258 TFEU and the related financial sanction in Article 260 TFEU have undergone some significant changes in the last decade. Although the relevant case law of the Court of Justice has remained static, the Commission has brought about changes in policy and administrative practice in its handling of infringement files. Further, changes to Article 260 TFEU made the imposition of financial penalities more efficient. However, familiar questions remain. There is concern over legitimacy, transparency, and accountability in relation Commission’s role as ‘guardian of the Treaty’ with respect to the infringement process. The sanction process has been more dynamic but raises questions as to its efficacy and flexibility. This chapter discusses the evolution of the infringement and sanction processes over the last decade, examining the changes in theoretical approach and the administrative operation and policy choices of the Commission, and looking to their future evolution.

Keywords: infringement, sanction, Court of Justice, Commission, administrative practice, legitimacy, transparency, accountability, efficacy

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