European Parliament adopts report on Driving Licence Directive


The European Parliament has adopted its report on the Driving Licence Directive, agreeing on key reforms that will eliminate crucial barriers discouraging entry into the driver profession.

Setting the pace for the trilogue negotiations with the Council and Commission, the European Parliament has adopted its position on the Driving Licence Directive, offering a considerable step forward in eliminating the age barriers facing young drivers as well as facilitating the integration of third-country drivers into the EU.

IRU EU Director of Advocacy Raluca Marian said, “The European Parliament took a major step today towards eliminating key barriers preventing young EU citizens from joining the profession and third-country drivers from complementing the local talent pool. The EU road transport industry needs both local drivers and third-country professionals to overcome the chronic shortage of drivers. We are already missing over 500,000 professional drivers.”

“Our focus first and foremost is to attract more local talent, including young people and women. But given the scale of driver shortages, coupled with the fact that many drivers are nearing the age of retirement, we need to complement the local talent pool with third-country drivers,” she added.

Major reforms for attracting young truck drivers

In what is shaping to become a major reform for the trucking sector, the plenary supported the implementation of an EU accompanied driving scheme enabling 17-year-old truck drivers (categories C and C1) to safely gain practical driving experience and familiarise themselves with the profession alongside an experienced driver.

“The word ‘accompanied’ is crucial when looking at the proposed text in the driving licence revision. A 17-year-old driving a truck under the supervision of an experienced truck driver sitting next to them in the cabin is a form of extended on-the-job training. This will go a long way in closing the school-to-wheel gap. We are happy to see the Parliament has accurately understood that,” said Raluca Marian.

The Parliament has also clarified that the minimum driving age for both national and international truck operations is 18 years old in the EU.

d transparent EU-framework for recognising third-country professional drivers’ licences and qualifications is crucial. Third-country drivers should benefit from the same rights as European drivers. For this, it is necessary that their rights are recognised and respected across all Member States. We need third-country drivers to complement the local talent pool and fill the gap,” said Raluca Marian.

Both the Parliament and the Council have now adopted their positions on the Directive. The trilogue negotiations are expected to conclude under the next legislature.

“We hope the Parliament negotiators will convince their Council counterparts of their position’s pragmatism, which is supported by the road transport industry,” concluded Raluca Marian


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