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The Commission orders eight Member States to implement the Directive aimed at ensuring better occupational mobility for train drivers
The European Commission has formally requested eight Member States to transpose the Directive on the certification of train drivers into national law. With Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden yet to bring their national legislation into line with this Directive, the occupational mobility of train drivers will not be ensured within the agreed time period. The Commission has set a two‑month deadline for these Member States to remedy the situation before it involves the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The European rules
Directive 2007/59/CE lays down the conditions for train drivers to be authorised to drive trains in more than one European country, establishing the minimum requirements which they must satisfy. A train driver holding a licence and certification to drive certain trains or locomotives in one Member State will have the right to drive the same types of vehicle in other Member States upon passing a driving test, but without having to undergo repeat examinations of physical fitness and general professional knowledge.
In this way, the Directive aims at facilitating the occupational mobility of train drivers between Member States and also between railway companies.
Member States had until 4 December 2009 to transpose the Directive into their national legislation.
The grounds for the reasoned opinion
This Directive has not yet been transposed, or has been transposed only partially, by eight Member States: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden.
The effects of non-transposition
If these eight countries do not bring their national legislation into line with Community law within the set time period, implementation of the Directive will be impossible. In this case, restrictive examinations of general professional knowledge would be maintained, acting as a hindrance to the occupational mobility of train drivers. It would also be more difficult for railway companies to offer new services in other markets.
The last stage in the infringement procedure
If the eight Member States do not adapt their legislation within the two-month deadline, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/162.