Procedure : 2004/0048(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0480/2006

Texts tabled :

A6-0480/2006

Debates :

PV 17/01/2007 - 9
CRE 17/01/2007 - 9

Votes :

PV 18/01/2007 - 9.4
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2007)0004

RECOMMENDATION FOR SECOND READING     ***II
PDF 250kWORD 212k
22 December 2006
PE 378.805v02-00 A6-0480/2006

on the Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community

(5893/5/2006 – C6-0310/2006 – 2004/0048(COD))

Committee on Transport and Tourism

Rapporteur: Gilles Savary

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community

(5893/5/2006 – C6-0310/2006 – 2004/0048(COD))

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council common position (5893/5/2006 – C6-0310/2006),

–   having regard to its position at first reading(1) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2004)0142)(2),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 62 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0480/2006),

1.  Approves the common position as amended;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Council common position  Amendments by Parliament

Amendment 1

Recital 6 a (new)

 

(6a) This Directive follows and is largely based on the ‘historic’ joint agreements reached on 27 January 2004 between the Community of European Railways (CER) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) on the ‘European licence for drivers carrying out a cross-border interoperability service’ and on ‘certain aspects of the working conditions of mobile workers assigned to interoperable cross-border services’.

Justification

Reinstates the wording adopted by Parliament at first reading. This amendment emphasises the fact that the draft directive transposes into Community law the first agreement in the railway sector between owners and unions.

Amendment 2

Recital 11

(11) Staff competences and health and safety conditions are being developed in the context of the interoperability directives, in particular as part of the “traffic management and operation" TSIs. There is a need to ensure coherence between these TSIs and the Annexes to this Directive. This will be achieved by means of amendments to be adopted by the Commission under a Committee procedure, on the basis of an opinion delivered by the same Committee.

(11) Staff competences and health and safety conditions are being developed in the context of the interoperability directives, in particular as part of the "traffic management and operation" TSIs. There is a need to ensure coherence between these TSIs and the Annexes to this Directive. The Commission will achieve this by modifying or adapting the relevant TSI to this Directive and its Annexes using the procedures foreseen in Council Directive 96/48/EC1 of 23 July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC2 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2001 on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system.

___________

1 Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system (OJ L 235, 17.9.1996, p. 6). Directive last amended by Directive 2004/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, p. 114).

2 Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2001 on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system (OJ L 110, 20.4.2001, p. 1). Directive last amended by Directive 2004/50/EC.

 

 

Amendment 3

Recital 23 a (new)

 

(23a) In particular, the Commission should be empowered to lay down measures of general scope designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, or to supplement it by the addition of new non-essential elements. Those measures should be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC.

Justification

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 4

Chapter I, title

Objective, scope and definitions

Subject matter, scope and definitions

Amendment 5

Article 1

Article 1

Objective

This Directive lays down the conditions and procedures for the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community. It specifies the tasks for which the competent authorities of the Member States, train drivers and other stakeholders in the sector, in particular railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and training centres, are responsible.

Article 1

Subject matter

This Directive lays down the conditions and procedures for the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains and other crew members performing safety-related tasks on the Community's rail network. For this purpose, it also specifies the tasks for which the competent authorities of the Member States, the train drivers and other stakeholders in the sector, in particular the railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and training centres, are responsible.

Justification

If Article 1 extends the scope of certification to all crew who help to ensure safety on trains then the Council’s wording is acceptable because the technical provisions of this Directive are applicable not only to drivers. Moreover, Article 27 refers to train crews.

Amendment 6

Article 2, paragraph 1

1. This Directive shall apply to train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community for a railway undertaking requiring a safety certificate or an infrastructure manager requiring a safety authorisation.

1. This Directive shall apply to train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community and other train crew who perform safety-related duties for a railway undertaking requiring a safety certificate or an infrastructure manager requiring a safety authorisation.

Justification

This amendment reinstates Amendment 11 adopted by Parliament at first reading.

On-board staff are not just responsible for providing service on the train. Though their operational duties are not identical in any two Member States, these all include tasks which are important for operational safety and the safety of the passengers. If exceptional circumstances arise, they must be in a position [to ensure] that safety management takes place in a professional manner and in line with uniform standards. This includes evacuating trains, checking brakes, uncoupling defective carriages, tunnel rescue, communication with the driver during the course of operations, etc. To ensure that they are still able to carry out these tasks when working on interoperable services, a European certification is necessary for the whole crew.

Amendment 7

Article 3, point (b a) (new)

 

(ba) ‘other crew members performing safety-related tasks’ means staff on board the train who are not train drivers but who help to ensure the safety of the train and of the passengers and goods being transported.

Justification

This new wording seeks to find a compromise with the Council concerning train crew. It clarifies the distinction between train drivers and other crew members.

This staff category is covered by the provisions of Article 27 of the proposed Directive.

Amendment 8

Article 4, point 3, introductory part and point (a)

3. The certificate shall authorise driving in one or more of the following categories:

3. The certificate shall authorise driving in one or both of the following categories:

(a) category A: shunting locomotives, work trains, maintenance railway vehicles and locomotives when they are used for shunting;

(a) category A: shunting locomotives, work trains and railway maintenance vehicles;

Justification

This provision seeks to clarify the Council common position, which refers twice to shunting vehicles in Category A.

Amendment 9

Article 4, paragraph 4

4. By …* the Commission shall adopt, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2), and on the basis of a draft prepared by the Agency, a Community model for the licence, the certificate and the certified copy of the certificate, and also determine their physical characteristics. In doing so, the Commission shall take into account anti-forgery measures.

4. By …* the Commission shall adopt, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2a), on the basis of a draft prepared by the Agency, the measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, by supplementing it, which concern a Community model for the licence, the certificate and the certified copy of the certificate, and also determine their physical characteristics. In doing so, the Commission shall take into account anti-forgery measures.

By …*, the Commission shall adopt the Community Codes for the different types in categories A and B as referred to in paragraph 3, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2), on the basis of a recommendation from the Agency.

By …*, the Commission shall adopt the measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, by supplementing it, which concern the Community Codes for the different types in categories A and B as referred to in paragraph 3, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2a), on the basis of a recommendation from the Agency.

Justification

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 10

Article 6, paragraph 1 a (new)

 

1a. The competent authority may delegate this task only under the terms provided for in Article 19.

Justification

Reinstates the Commission’s initial text.

Amendment 11

Article 7 a (new)

 

Article 7a

 

Mutual recognition

1. Once drivers have the licence and the harmonised complementary certificate issued in accordance with this Directive, they may drive trains provided that the railway undertaking or the infrastructure manager responsible for the transport in question has a safety certificate or a safety authorisation, and only on the network covered both by the harmonised complementary certificate and by the safety certificate, or the safety authorisation.

2. Licences issued by a Member State in accordance with this Directive shall be mutually recognised by the other Member States.

Justification

Reinstates the Commission’s initial text.

Amendment 12

Article 17, paragraph 3

A certificate shall become invalid when its holder ceases to be employed as a driver. However, the holder shall receive a certified copy of it as evidence of his professional competences. When issuing a certificate to a driver, a railway undertaking or infrastructure manager shall take account of these competences.

A certificate shall become invalid when its holder ceases to be employed as a driver. However, the holder shall receive a certified copy of it and of all documents providing evidence of his training, qualifications, experience and professional competences. When issuing a certificate to a driver, a railway undertaking or infrastructure manager shall take account of these competences.

Justification

The Council common position stipulates that a driver shall receive a certified copy of the certificate to enable him to prove his professional competences. It would also be appropriate to allow drivers to demonstrate the periodic checks they have undergone since the harmonised complementary certificate and licence were issued.

Amendment 13

Article 18, paragraph 2

2. If a driver considers that his state of health calls into question his fitness for the job, he shall immediately inform the railway undertaking or infrastructure manager, whichever is appropriate.

 

As soon as a railway undertaking or infrastructure manager is aware or is informed by a doctor that the health of a driver has deteriorated to a point where his fitness for the job is called into question, it shall immediately take the necessary action, including the examination described in section 3.1 of Annex II. Furthermore, it shall ensure that at no time during their service drivers are under the influence of any substance which is likely to affect their concentration, attention or behaviour. The competent authority shall be informed without delay of any cases of work incapacity of more than three months.

2. If there is any change in a train driver's state of health likely to call into question his fitness for the job and the continuation of his licence or harmonised complementary certificate, the employer or the driver, as appropriate, shall inform the competent authority without delay.

Justification

Reinstates the wording adopted by Parliament at first reading.

Amendment 14

Article 18, paragraph 2 a (new)

 

2a. If the competent authority finds or is informed that a train driver no longer satisfies one or more requirements, it shall immediately withdraw the licence and inform the party concerned and their employer of its reasoned decision, without prejudice to the right of appeal provided for in Article 21. The suspension shall be temporary or permanent depending on the scale of the problems created for rail safety. The competent authority shall update the register provided for in Article 22. As soon as it is informed, the employer shall withdraw the harmonised certificate, either temporarily or permanently, depending on the reasons given by the competent authority. The employer shall update the register provided for in Article 22.

 

If an employer finds that a train driver no longer satisfies one or more requirements, it shall immediately withdraw the harmonised certificate and immediately inform the party concerned and the competent authority of its reasoned decision. The employer shall update the register provided for in Article 22.

Justification

Reinstates the wording adopted by Parliament at first reading.

Amendment 15

Article 18, paragraph 2 b (new)

 

2b. Member States shall ensure that in cases where a licence or harmonised complementary certificate is withdrawn provision is made for an independent assessment and, where appropriate, reinstatement procedure. The employee concerned may request this procedure.

Justification

Reinstates the wording adopted by Parliament at first reading.

Amendment 16

Article 18, paragraph 2 c (new)

 

2c. Member States shall take all the necessary steps to avoid the risks of falsification of certificates and tampering with the register provided for in Article 22. Employers shall be required to ensure and to check that the licences and complementary certificates of their train drivers in service are valid.

Justification

Reinstates the wording adopted by Parliament at first reading.

Amendment 17

Article 19, paragraph 1, point (f)

(f) ensuring that a register of licences as provided for in Articles 16(1) and 22 is kept and updated;

(f) keeping and updating a register of licences as provided for in Articles 16(1) and 22;

Justification

This amendment specifies the tasks of the competent authority as defined in Article 19 of the Council common position.

Amendment 18

Article 19, paragraph 2

2. The competent authority shall not delegate the tasks referred to in points (c), (f) and (g) of paragraph 1 to third parties.

2. The competent authority shall not delegate the tasks referred to in points (c), (f), (g) and (i) of paragraph 1 to third parties.

Justification

This amendment specifies the tasks of the competent authority as defined in Article 19 of the Council common position. The rapporteur believes that establishing national criteria for examiners is too important a task to be delegated.

Amendment 19

Article 19, paragraph 5

5. Where a competent authority delegates or contracts tasks, the authorised representative or contractor shall be required, in performing such tasks, to comply with the obligations imposed on competent authorities by this Directive.

5. Where a competent authority delegates or contracts tasks, the authorised representative or contractor shall be required, in performing such tasks, to comply with the obligations imposed on competent authorities by this Directive, in particular:

(a) the testing of physical and mental fitness shall be carried out by occupational physicians or occupational health institutes accredited by the competent authority;

(b) the testing of psychological fitness shall be carried out by psychologists, transport psychologists or occupational psychology institutes accredited by the competent authority;

(c) the testing of general professional knowledge shall be carried out by institutes and examiners which are both accredited by the competent authority.

Justification

Reinstates the wording adopted by Parliament at first reading to make the text more precise.

Amendment 20

Article 22, paragraph 2 a (new)

 

2a. Train drivers shall have access at all times to the data concerning them which is stored in the registers of competent authorities and of railway undertakings and shall be provided with a copy of that data on request.

Justification

Reinstates the wording adopted by Parliament at first reading.

Amendment 21

Article 22, paragraph 3

3. The competent authorities shall cooperate with the Agency in order to ensure the interoperability of the registers provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2. To this end the Commission shall adopt before …*, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2) and on the basis of a draft prepared by the Agency, the basic parameters of the registers to be set up, such as data to be recorded, their format and the data exchange protocol, access rights, the duration of data retention and the procedures to be followed in cases of bankruptcy.

3. The competent authorities shall cooperate with the Agency in order to ensure the interoperability of the registers provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2. To this end the Commission shall adopt before …*, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2a) and on the basis of a draft prepared by the Agency, the measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, by supplementing it, which concern the basic parameters of the registers to be set up, such as data to be recorded, their format and the data exchange protocol, access rights, the duration of data retention and the procedures to be followed in cases of bankruptcy.

Justification

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 22

Article 23, paragraph 3

3. The detailed training objectives are defined in Annex IV for the licence, and in Annexes V and VI for the certificate. They may be supplemented by either:

3. The detailed training objectives are defined in Annex IV for the licence, and in Annexes V and VI for the certificate. Non-essential elements of this Directive may be supplemented by either:

(a) the relevant TSIs − the Commission shall, following the procedure referred to in Article 31(2), ensure coherence between the TSIs and the Annexes to this Directive – or,

(a) the relevant TSIs − the Commission shall, following the procedure referred to in Article 31(2a), ensure coherence between the TSIs and the Annexes to this Directive – or,

(b) the criteria proposed by the Agency pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 and adopted by the Commission in accordance with Article 31(2) of this Directive.

(b) the criteria proposed by the Agency pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 and adopted by the Commission in accordance with Article 31(2a) of this Directive.

Justification

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 23

Article 23 a (new)

 

Article 23a

 

Financing of training

 

Railway undertakings and infrastructure managers shall be contractually responsible for professional training, both basic training and in-service training.

 

A railway undertaking or infrastructure manager employing a train driver whose training has been funded in whole or in part by another railway undertaking or infrastructure manager which the train driver has left voluntarily after less than five years' employment shall refund to that undertaking or infrastructure manager the cost of that training; the amount refunded shall be inversely proportional to the duration of the train driver's employment with the railway undertaking or infrastructure manager which financed his training.

 

The detailed rules for implementing this provision and for calculating the amount of any sums to be refunded shall be established on the basis of a recommendation drawn up by the Agency in the framework of Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 881/2004.

Justification

This amendment is an expanded version of an amendment adopted by the European Parliament on first reading. The text Parliament proposes here was supported by both sides of the rail industry.

Amendment 24

Article 24, paragraph 5

5. The choice of examiners and examinations may be subject to Community criteria proposed by the Agency and adopted by the Commission under the procedure referred to in Article 31(2). In the absence of such Community criteria, the competent authorities shall establish national criteria.

5. The choice of examiners and examinations may be subject to Community criteria proposed by the Agency and adopted by the Commission, in the form of measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, by supplementing it, under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 31(2a). In the absence of such Community criteria, the competent authorities shall establish national criteria.

Justification

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 25

Chapter VIII, title

Certification of other staff

Certification of other crew members

Justification

This amendment seeks to find a compromise on the question of other crew members performing safety-related tasks.

Amendment 26

Article 27

The Agency shall, in a report to be presented by …* identify the profile and tasks of other staff on locomotives and trains who perform safety-critical tasks and whose professional qualifications accordingly contribute to railway safety, which should be regulated at Community level by means of a system of licences and/or certificates which may be similar to the system established by this Directive.

_______________

* Two years from the date of entry into force of this Directive.

1. Other crew members performing safety related tasks must be in possession of a certificate attesting that they meet the minimum requirements relating to medical fitness, basic education and general professional skills.

 

2. The certificate shall be issued by the railway undertaking or infrastructure manager employing the crew member concerned. The certificate shall be the property of the undertaking which issued it; however, pursuant to Article 13(3) of Directive 2004/49/EC, the holder may obtain a certified copy thereof.

 

3. The competent authority shall deliver upon request of any crew member performing safety-related tasks certified in conformity with this article a formal validation giving the name of the undertaking which delivered the certificate, the conditions fulfilled to obtain the certificate and the duration of service for which the crew member has been credited. This formal validation is the property of the crew member.

 

4. Articles 19 and 28 on controls by the railway undertaking, infrastructure manager or competent authority shall apply mutatis mutandis, taking into account the fact that other crew members performing safety-related tasks are certified by the railway undertaking or the infrastructure manager by means of a single certificate.

 

 

5. Articles 20, 21, 23, 24, 25 and 26 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the certification of other crew members performing safety-related tasks.

 

6. By ...*, the Agency, in accordance with Articles 3, 4, 6, 12 and 17 of Regulation (EC) No 881/2004, shall specify the profile and tasks of other crew members performing safety-related tasks and the minimum requirements referred to in paragraph 1.

 

7. By ...**, the Commission shall take a decision regarding the implementation of this Article in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 31(2a), based on the recommendations of the Agency.

­­­___________

* One year after the date of entry into force of this Directive.

** Two years after the date of entry into force of this Directive.

Justification

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 27

Article 30

The Annexes shall be adapted to scientific and technical progress, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2).

The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, inter alia by supplementing it, which are necessary to adapt the Annexes to scientific and technical progress, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 31(2a), whilst fully respecting the procedures and powers conferred by Regulation (EC) No 881/2004, and in particular Articles 3, 4, 6, 12 and 17 thereof.

Justification

Reinstates an amendment adopted by Parliament at first reading.

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 28

Article 31, paragraph 2 a (new)

 

2a. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5a(1) to (4), and Article 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.

Justification

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 29

Article 31, paragraph 2 b (new)

 

2b. Where applicable, on grounds of urgency and where the measures envisaged by the Commission are in accordance with the committee’s opinion, Article 5a(1), (2), (4) and (6) and Article 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.

Justification

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 30

Article 33

The Agency shall examine by …* the possibility of using a smartcard combining the licence and certificates provided for in Article 4 and shall prepare a cost/benefit analysis. Where appropriate, the Commission shall adopt, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2) and on the basis of a draft prepared by the Agency, the technical and operating specifications for such a smartcard. The introduction of the smartcard may require adaptation of the annexes in accordance with Article 30.

The Agency shall examine by …* the possibility of using a smartcard combining the licence and certificates provided for in Article 4 and shall prepare a cost/benefit analysis. Where appropriate, the Commission shall adopt, in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 31(2a) and on the basis of a draft prepared by the Agency, the technical and operating specifications for such a smartcard which are designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, by supplementing it. The introduction of the smartcard may require adaptation of the annexes in accordance with Article 30.

Justification

Text adapted in accordance with Decision 2006/512/EC amending the comitology procedure.

Amendment 31

Article 35, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1

1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive before …*. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.

 

___________
* Twenty-four months from the date of entry into force of this Directive.

1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive before 31 December 2007. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.

Justification

The introduction of the new train driver's licence should, as a general principle, correspond to the timetable for the liberalisation of rail transport markets. At all events, an entry-into-force date of 1 January 2007 no longer seems realistic in view of the stage reached in the legislative process so far. As the phasing-in of certification will follow the very leisurely timetable set out in Article 36, a reduction of the period allowed for implementation is urgently required. The new train driver's licence needs to be introduced as quickly as possible for cross-border services and cabotage services.

Amendment 32

Annexe I, paragraph 3, point (n a) (new)

 

(na) the date of the holder's last medical examination.

Justification

The certificate issued by the railway undertaking or infrastructure manager must also show the date of the holder's most recent medical examination. this is important for the checks carried out by the competent authorities, including those carried out on the train.

Amendment 33

Annex II, section 3, point 3.1., paragraphs 2 to 4

In addition to this frequency, the medical doctor must increase the frequency of examinations if the health of the member of staff so requires.

In addition to this frequency, the occupational physician must increase the frequency of examinations if the health of the member of staff so requires.

Without prejudice to Article 16(1) an appropriate medical examination must be carried out when there is a reason to doubt that a holder of the licence or certificate no longer fulfils the medical requirements set out in section 1 of Annex II.

Without prejudice to Article 16(1) an appropriate medical examination must be carried out when there is a reason to doubt that a holder of the licence or certificate no longer fulfils the medical requirements set out in section 1 of Annex II.

Physical fitness must be checked regularly and after any occupational accident. The medical doctor or the medical service of the undertaking can decide to carry out an additional appropriate medical examination, particularly after a period of at least 30 days' sick leave. The employer must ask the physician to check the physical fitness of the driver if the employer had to withdraw the driver from service for safety reasons.

Physical fitness must be checked regularly and after any occupational accident or any period of leave following an accident involving persons. The occupational physician or the medical service of the undertaking can decide to carry out an additional appropriate medical examination, particularly after a period of at least 30 days' sick leave. The employer must ask the accredited physician to check the physical fitness of the driver if the employer had to withdraw the driver from service for safety reasons.

Justification

This amendment reinstates Amendment No 43 adopted by the European Parliament on first reading.

Occupational accidents do not always comprise accidents involving persons (suicides, accidents at crossings, etc.). These accidents are traumatic for train drivers, whose fitness for work should be examined after any such incident.

(1)

OJ C 227 E, 21.9.2006, p. 464.

(2)

Not yet published in OJ.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

On 3 March 2004 the Commission set out a series of four legislative proposals (‘Third Railway Package’), consideration of which by the Council began in April 2004 and by Parliament in October 2004. One of these proposals concerns the certification of train crews operating locomotives and trains on the Community’s rail network. This proposal transposes into Community law the substance of the first European sectoral agreement between European railway companies and railway unions, signed on 27 January 2004. This text provides for the introduction of a European licence made up of two parts: the EU licence as such (issued on the basis of minimum general Community requirements), and a harmonised complementary certificate, which reflects the requirements associated with the use of a particular rail network. In addition, this text seeks to better define powers and responsibilities with regard to training, evaluation and recognition of qualifications of train drivers and crew members performing safety-related tasks.

Parliament completed its first reading on 28 September 2005. The Council adopted its common position on 14 September 2006. The Commission then presented its communication on the common position on 18 September 2006.

1. Brief outline of the points of contention between the Council common position and Parliament’s legislative resolution

In its common position the Council accepted in full three of the amendments proposed by Parliament (Amendments 27, 36 and 44). Many of Parliament’s other amendments were also endorsed in a general sense in the Council common position, using somewhat different wording.

Nevertheless, some differences can be noted between the Council text and Parliament’s text:

- The Council and Parliament disagree markedly on the Directive’s scope. The Council limits the Directive’s scope to train drivers and does not require any certification of other crew members. Parliament, on the other hand, had set out the principle of a clear distinction between the rules applying to train drivers and the rules applying to other crew members performing safety-related tasks. The proposal was for this latter group to be subject to a slightly different certification process.

- There are also differences of approach regarding the implementation of the Directive. Parliament favoured a speedy implementation of the Directive in line with the opening of the rail freight market, while the Council advocated a progressive implementation.

- Several points of contention relate to the procedures for obtaining the documents in question: the conditions for issuing the licence, the validity of the licence (the Council is seeking to extend the validity of the licence to 10 years), obtaining the harmonised complementary certificate, the frequency of checks on driver’s fitness and skills (the Council proposes every three years).

- There are certain differences of position regarding the tasks of the competent authority: the Council did not endorse the amendment allowing drivers to access stored data which concerns them.

- The Council and Parliament also disagree over the issue of financing drivers’ training. In its first reading Parliament adopted a compromise amendment under which a railway undertaking recruiting a driver whose training had been funded by the previous employer for which the driver had worked for less than five years would refund to that previous undertaking the cost of the training.

- There are some differences regarding the certification of drivers in general. While the Council has endorsed Parliament’s idea of having only two categories (A: work trains, shunting locomotives; B: passenger or goods trains) for the areas covered by the harmonised complementary certificate, it has not accepted the minimum requirements relating to professional experience proposed by Parliament.

2. The rapporteur’s approach and proposed amendments

In view of the opening-up of rail freight traffic (since 15 March 2003 for international traffic and from 1 January 2007 for cabotage) and in the longer term the probable opening-up of passenger traffic, there is an urgent need to lay down standard European technical rules on the operation of trains.

Nevertheless, your rapporteur feels that several points in the common position need to be modified to be fully in accordance with the spirit of Parliament’s first reading.

· The certification of crew members directly involved in tasks relating to the safety of the train and its passengers

According to the common position text, the Council would not subject crew members to any certification procedure. Your rapporteur believes that crew members indisputably contribute to the safety of trains. European certification should be required for such staff and your rapporteur wishes to reach a compromise with the Council on this point.

Consequently, your rapporteur proposes extending the subject of the Directive to include crew members who help to ensure safety on trains (Amendment 3), who, it should be added, are covered by Article 27 of the Directive. Furthermore, your rapporteur proposes a new wording for Article 27, and certification for crew members whose tasks are now specified in Annex VIII of the Directive.

· The question of training costs borne by the undertaking following the early departure of a driver

The training of train drivers will be carried out by bodies approved by national safety authorities and the European Agency, with the possibility therefore that railway undertakings will continue to provide training for drivers, as is the case today in most Member States.

In line with the amendment adopted by Parliament at first reading, your rapporteur believes that, given the competitive environment we are in and in order to avoid pointless and costly disputes, a safeguard clause needs to be included to protect the investments made by railway undertakings.

Your rapporteur therefore proposes the reincorporation in the common position text of the amendment stipulating that the voluntary departure of a driver from the railway undertaking which trained him shall oblige the railway undertaking employing him to refund to the original railway undertaking a sum proportionate to the residual cost of training, based on harmonised criteria which will have to be drawn up following a recommendation from the Agency.

· The question of professional experience

Your rapporteur wishes to maintain the possibility for each Member State to stipulate minimum professional experience in category A in order to obtain a category B complementary certificate.

· The question of compatibility between the annexes and the TSIs and revision of the annexes

Your rapporteur would point out that the minimum requirements (defined in Annexes II to VI) for obtaining a licence (part 1) or the harmonised driver’s certificate (part 2) generally fall within the scope of the TSIs, on the basis of Directives 96/48/EC and 2001/16/EC, as revised by Directive 2004/50/EC. It might therefore be asked whether they should be included in this Directive.

Your rapporteur takes the view that the annexes should be maintained in the current proposal for a directive for two basic reasons:

- the purpose of the Directive implies that the minimum requirements for qualification, and hence certification, of staff must be clearly defined;

- most of these minimum requirements have been the subject of an agreement between the parties concerned as part of the sectoral social dialogue, which means subsequent renegotiation in the context of TSIs will be unnecessary.

Nevertheless, in order to avoid a situation where the possible future need to adapt these requirements to technical and human progress entails a necessarily complex and lengthy revision of the Directive, your rapporteur proposes that the annexes be revised using the procedure laid down for the adoption of TSIs, whilst fully respecting the procedures laid down by Directive 2004/50/EC and Regulation 881/2004/EC establishing the European Railway Agency.

To this end your rapporteur is resubmitting two amendments adopted by Parliament at first reading.


PROCEDURE

Title

Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community

References

5893/5/2006 - C6-0310/2006 - 2004/0048(COD)

Date of Parliament’s first reading
– P number

28.9.2005

P6_TA(2005)0355

Commission proposal

COM(2004)0142 - C6-0002/2004

Amended Commission proposal

 

Date receipt of common position announced in plenary

28.9.2006

Committee responsible
  Date announced in plenary

TRAN
28.9.2006

Rapporteur(s)
  Date appointed

Gilles Savary
26.9.2006

 

Previous rapporteur(s)

 

 

Discussed in committee

10.10.2006

22.11.2006

18.12.2006

 

 

Date adopted

19.12.2006

Result of final vote

+:
–:

0:

46

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Gabriele Albertini, Margrete Auken, Inés Ayala Sender, Etelka Barsi-Pataky, Paolo Costa, Michael Cramer, Arūnas Degutis, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Christine De Veyrac, Petr Duchoň, Saïd El Khadraoui, Emanuel Jardim Fernandes, Roland Gewalt, Mathieu Grosch, Ewa Hedkvist Petersen, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Stanisław Jałowiecki, Georg Jarzembowski, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Jörg Leichtfried, Bogusław Liberadzki, Eva Lichtenberger, Erik Meijer, Robert Navarro, Seán Ó Neachtain, Josu Ortuondo Larrea, Willi Piecyk, Reinhard Rack, Gilles Savary, Renate Sommer, Dirk Sterckx, Ulrich Stockmann, Gary Titley, Georgios Toussas, Armando Veneto, Marta Vincenzi, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Roberts Zīle

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Zsolt László Becsey, Johannes Blokland, Zita Gurmai, Elisabeth Jeggle, Anne E. Jensen, Zita Pleštinská, Vladimír Remek,

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

Date tabled

22.12.2006

 

Comments (available in one language only)

...

Last updated: 8 January 2007Legal notice