Malta and Romania are in hot water with the European Union over demands to provide their plans for the introduction of alternative-fuels infrastructure for green vehicles.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, is referring both countries to the Court of Justice for failing to provide their national policy frameworks to the EC.

The frameworks are the main EU instrument for ensuring a coordinated buildup of an alternative-fuels infrastructure, including recharging points for electric vehicles and refueling points for natural gas- and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The EU says the frameworks help avoid fragmentation of its internal market through a coordinated introduction of alternative fuels.

Member states were required to submit their national policy frameworks to the EC by Nov. 18, but Malta and Romania failed to do so.

The Commission says expediting the introduction of alternative-fuels infrastructure is essential to delivering clean and competitive mobility to all Europeans, an objective it set out in a clean-mobility package last year.

The package aims to reinforce the EU’s global leadership in clean vehicles and is an important step in implementing the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement for a binding domestic carbon-dioxide reduction of at least 40% by 2030.

Member states are required to establish national policy frameworks outlining their targets and objectives, including actions and measures for the development of the alternative-fuels market, and the deployment of the accompanying infrastructure.

EU countries that don’t comply with framework directives can be referred to the Court of Justice, where the EC can ask for a fine based on penalties it proposes. If the offending countries ignore this, the EC can go back to the court and ask for tougher penalties including a lump-sum and a daily fine until the infringement ends.

The Commission says in 95% of cases a settlement is reached before court action begins.

The Maltese Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects says work on the drafting and completion of its national policy framework is under way after delays in the appointment of expert consultants.

“The timeframe as submitted by the Maltese authorities to the Commission has thus been revised to March 16, which is the date by when the authorities will be able to submit the final completed version of the national policy framework,” the ministry says in a statement.

“The Maltese government is fully committed to abide by the new timeframes.”

Ian Borg, Malta’s minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, said last year a great number of investments are being made in infrastructure and the Mediterranean island nation is expected to have 5,000 EVs and 500 charging points by 2020.

He says budget measures include exempting Maltese citizens who buy EVs or plug-in hybrids from paying registration tax and for a road license for five years.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said Malta aims to be among the European countries phasing out gasoline and diesel vehicles. Borg says consultation on this transition will begin soon.

Meantime, Romania’s submission may have been delayed by political turmoil that has seen three prime ministers in a year. The current prime minister is Viorica Dancila, 54, a former European Parliament lawmaker.