EC refers Hungary to justice court over mobile payment service

EU

The European Commission announced yesterday it was taking further steps against Hungary – along with Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Lithuania and Spain – on the grounds that national rules include excessive and unjustified obstacles to the provision of services across the internal market, according to a press statement issued by the EC yesterday.

The European Commission has referred Hungary to the Court of Justice of the EU over suspicion of an “exclusive right granted to a single operator to provide a service”, the press statement said. State-owned company Nemzeti Mobilfizetési launched its national mobile payment system on July 1, 2014, to provide mobile payment services, Hungarian news agency MTI reported. According to the EC, the service is an unjustified obstacle to the provision of services in the single market, thus violating EU rules, MTI added.

The EC had stepped up its infringement procedure against Hungary on the matter, bringing it to the second phase, more than two years ago, MTI reminded.

The other countries involved have also introduced measures the EC said it considered restrictive to services, and run counter to the Services Directive (Directive 2006/123/EC), according to the press statement.

“Services account for more than two-thirds of economic activity and jobs in the EU single market. By making it easier for services providers to work across the EU, we generate new job opportunities, greater choice and lower prices for consumers,” said Elżbieta Bieńkowska, commissioner for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs.

“Together with the member states, we need to remove the many unjustified barriers that still prevent professionals and companies from providing their services in different member states. That is why I have made enforcement of already agreed EU laws a key priority of our single market strategy.”

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