The European Commission has decided to refer Croatia, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to correctly transpose the European rules on driving licences (Directive 2006/126/EC). The Commission has identified several shortcomings in the transposition of the Directive, including: the failure of the Netherlands to correctly implement the harmonised validity periods for licences; the failure of Portugal to ensure that one person holds only one licence; and the failure of Sweden to correctly transpose the requirements on medical fitness, especially for drivers who are dependent on alcohol.
In addition, the European Commission has decided to refer Croatia to the Court for 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 licences are issued in accordance with EU rules. The exchange of information through RESPER should have started on 19 January 2013.
The Commission opened these infringement proceedings in October 2015, with a reasoned opinion sent to the Member States concerned in June 2016. Since they have still not fulfilled their obligations under Directive 2006/126/EC, the Commission has decided to refer the cases to the Court.
Directive 2006/126/EC updates Directive 91/439/EEC on driving licences and introduces, among other things, new driving licence categories and harmonised validity of driving licence documents. It also establishes a network for the exchange of driving licence information (RESPER). These rules help to reduce the possibility of fraud, guarantee true freedom of movement for EU drivers and reinforce safety on European roads (see IP/13/25 and MEMO/13/10 of 18 January 2013).
The use of RESPER helps Member States to 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, to improve road safety.
For More Information
- On the key decisions of the February infringements package, please refer to the full MEMO/17/234.
- On the EU infringements procedure.