The European Commission has referred Germany to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failing to regularly monitor all aviation security measures at some German airports.

The Commission said that, on inspection, some security measures were not adequately monitored by the national authorities and that Germany did not comply with the minimum frequency and scope of controls required under EU legislation.

It said these controls were “necessary to quickly detect and correct potential failures in the implementation of security measures, and to make sure that airports, airlines and other entities are in line with common EU standards.”

However, it also stressed that the referral “does by no means imply that German airports did not take adequate security measures,” but related instead to the Commission's concerns about “the way Germany exercises the controls required under EU legislation.”

The Commission said that it had it had requested Germany to ensure compliance with EU legislation during the various stages of the infringement procedure. “However, Germany did not take the necessary steps and is therefore unable to ensure that potential security shortcomings are swiftly detected and corrected at all German airports,” the Commission said.

In a statement, Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior said the Commission action was related to an inspection conducted in 2012, which reviewed “the quality control, rather than the quality of the controls themselves.” The inspection highlighted shortcomings in Germany’s implementation of quality control measures in line with EU-wide aviation security standards, and the Ministry said “measures were taken to remedy the situation immediately.”

The Ministry statement went on to say the referral to the ECJ did not contain any allegation “that the security measures at German airports were not performed correctly,” or that “German airports have failed to take adequate security measures.”

However, it said it could not ascertain on what basis the Commission had made the referral to the ECJ until it had seen the writ.