The European Commission has decided to refer Austria, Germany, Finland, and Poland to the Court of Justice of EU for failing to correctly transpose European rules on driving licences (Directive 2006/126/EC).
Germany, Finland and Poland have, inter alia, failed to issue licences with the required validity periods or to correctly define certain driving licence categories. In some cases, Austria and Germany have also given incorrect driving rights to holders of certain truck or bus licences. Furthermore, Poland has not correctly transposed the rules on normal residence, notably concerning persons who live successively in different Member States.
In addition, the European Commission has decided to refer Finland to the Court for additionally failing to connect to the EU driving licences network ("RESPER") as required by Directive 2006/126/EC. RESPER can help Member States cooperate with each other and ensure that driving licences are issued in accordance with EU rules. The exchange of information through RESPER should have started on 19 January 2013.
The European Commission opened these infringement proceedings in July 2014, and sent a reasoned opinion to the Member States concerned in February 2015. As it stands today, these Member States (Austria, Germany, Finland, and Poland) have still failed to fulfil their obligations under Directive 2006/126/EC, and therefore the Commission has decided to refer the cases to the Court of Justice of the EU.
Directive 2006/126/EC updates the Council Directive 91/439/EEC on driving licences and introduces, among other things, new driving licence categories and harmonised validity of driving licence's documents. It also establishes a network for the exchange of driving licence information (RESPER). These rules help to reduce the possibility of fraud, guarantee the effective freedom of movement for EU drivers and reinforce safety on European roads (see IP/13/25 and MEMO/13/10 of 18/01/2013).
The use of RESPER helps Member States ensure that a person does not hold more than one licence. This is necessary in order to ensure that drivers only drive vehicles in categories for which they are qualified and authorised. This contributes to achieving one of the key objectives of the Directive, namely, the improvement of road safety in the EU.
- On the key decisions in the December 2015 infringements package, see MEMO/15/6223.
- On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12.
- On infringement procedures.