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Training of professional drivers: Commission takes Ireland to Court of Justice
Commission Européenne - IP/07/1791 28/11/2007
Brussels, 28 November 2007
The European Commission today decided to launch proceedings in the European Court of Justice against Ireland for failing both to transpose the Directive on the training of professional drivers and to notify measures for its implementation. This Directive provides for compulsory initial qualification and periodic training of drivers of certain road vehicles for the carriage of goods or passengers.
Directive 2003/59/EC was adopted to ensure that professional drivers have a certain level of training as a minimum in order to handle the demands of working in road transport today. It was to be transposed into national law by 10 September 2006. Although the Commission sent Ireland a reasoned opinion in June 2007, no appropriate national measures have been taken to comply with the Directive.
The Directive calls for Member States to set up a system of qualification according to one of two options: a system based on coursework and a test, or one based on a test only. Periodic training is to be organised by approved training centres. Each driver is to undergo 35 hours of training every 5 years. Drivers are to be issued with a professional aptitude certificate showing that they have gained the initial qualification or undergone the subsequent periodic training. Member States have to apply these arrangements from 10 September 2008 for drivers of passenger vehicles and 10 September 2009 in the case of goods vehicle drivers.
 Directive 2003/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2003 on the initial qualification and periodic training of drivers of certain road vehicles for the carriage of goods or passengers (OJ L 226, 10.9.2003).