25 July 2003

Peter Van de Velde

The Belgian Government is still working on draft implementing legislation. However, no draft legislation has yet been submitted to the federal Parliament. According to press articles published in June 2003, the Government may be considering temporary implementation through a series of Royal Decrees in order to speed up the implementation process.

It seems unlikely that the new rules will be implemented in Belgium within a reasonable period of the passing of today’s deadline. It remains to be seen whether the Commission will launch infraction proceedings, as a result.

Consideration should be given to the application of the doctrine of ‘direct effect’ in Belgium, pending full transposition. The process to be followed in France might also be copied so that the industry has some certainty as to how the new rules will be applied in the next few weeks or months, until new laws are passed.