Laying Hens – Cage-eggs ban: EU Commission steps up in the on-going infringement procedures against 10 non compliant Member States

Brussels, June 22 2012 

Yesterday, on Thursday June 21, EU Commission has sent a “reasoned opinion” to ten Member States, regarding the infringement of requirements of the laying hen caged eggs ban.
On January 1 2012, after a twelve years transitional period, the Directive 1999/74/EC came into force and since this date, use of un-enriched barren cages for laying hens is strictly prohibited in all EU Member States. “The Commission welcomes the efforts made by the Member States which have complied with the rules. However, full compliance by all Member States is essential to avoid market distortions and unfair competition”.


On January 26 2012, EU Commission had already announced the sent of 13 letters of formal notice requesting for information to Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania. This was the first step of the infringement procedure laid down by Article 258 of the Lisbon Treaty TFEU. Concerned Member States had 2 months to answer.
Then following the answers, EU Commission can decide, State by State, to drop the charges or to pursue the infringement procedure by sending a reasoned opinion.
This is what has been done yesterday: 10 reasonned opinion have been sent to Belgium, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal. This means that charges have been dropped for three Member States: Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania in the outcome of the exchange of observations.

The ongoing infringement procedures can be outlined as following: