Driver Licence Tourism Within the EU: Compromising Road Safety? or a Necessity to Aid Free Movement?
S J Fox, Transport Policy and Strategy Consultant and Lecturer, ES
This paper considers the three EU legislative acts that have sought to increasingly harmonise driving licence legislation within the European Union.
The transport policy retains a constantly important position within the continuously evolving European Union. It is a fundamental cornerstone, forming the foundation on which the Union has been constructed. Without an efficient and effective transport policy one of the pinnacle objectives, the free movement of persons and goods, is seriously compromised.
This Paper considers the three EU legislative acts that have sought to increasingly harmonise driving licence legislation within the European Union. An overview of the legislation and history is considered as a stepped method to discussing the present and future implications and ?apparent? change of direction following a recent European Court of Justice judgment earlier this year. The implication of ?driver licence tourism? within the EU is analysed through a case study that discusses and evaluates the relevant ECJ judgments over a period of thirty years focusing particularly on cases from the last ten years. It is proposed that, at times, the pendulum has swung in favour of the free movement of the motorist. The implications to road safety and free movement are ultimately analysed as part of this critical evaluation process and the equilibrium of the two issues are discussed at lengths.
It is concluded that the Court has found difficulty in achieving a balance between these two objectives, which are, after all, the very basis for the legislative acts. Ultimately, a further legal instrument is needed, one that ensures free movement of the motorist without compromising road safety.
Association for European Transport