If the Commission and a Member State fail to settle a case of a possible infringement of EU law early by means of a structured dialogue, the Commission can launch an infringement procedure with a formal notice to the Member State in question, following up with a reasoned opinion and ultimately a court case. To date, 1 811 cases have been taken to court. The longest case lasted 12 years from formal notice to its closing, but over two thirds of closed cases lasted less than a year.
The chart depicts all formal infringement procedures launched by the Commission since 2002. The data come from the Commission’s database on infringement decisions.