In the November package of infractions, released today, the community executive indicates that it sent a reasoned opinion to nine EU Member States – Portugal, Bulgaria, Ireland, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Austria and Sweden – for “failing to ensure the correct fulfilment of its commitments to reduce various air pollutants, as required by the directive […] on the reduction of national emissions of certain air pollutants”.

These nine countries “now have two months to respond and take the necessary measures and, otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union”, says Brussels.

Furthermore, the institution decided to send an additional letter of notification to three Member States (Luxembourg, Poland and Romania), which also have two months to fill the gaps raised by the community executive and, if they fail to do so, they will receive a reasoned opinion.

At issue is the directive that establishes national commitments to reduce emissions of five important atmospheric pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, ammonia and fine particles, which worsen air quality.

Reduction commitments must be met by each Member State between 2020 and 2029, with more ambitious targets from 2030 onwards.

After sending, in January this year, notification letters and analyzing inventories and information communicated by Member States, Brussels concluded that Portugal and the other eight countries targeted by a reasoned opinion “did not fulfil their commitments regarding pollutants” , a situation that must change.