Language of document :

Action brought on 26 January 2016 — European Commission v Republic of Finland

(Case C-42/16)

Language of the case: Finnish

Parties

Applicant: European Commission (represented by: J. Hottiaux and I. Koskinen, acting as Agents)

Defendant: Republic of Finland

Form of order sought

declare that, by issuing duplicate driving licences whose administrative validity period expires on 18 January 2033, the Republic of Finland has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 1 and 7(2) of Directive 2006/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on driving licences 1 and that, by failing to join the EU driving licence network, the Republic of Finland has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 7(5)(d) of Directive 2006/126/EC;

order the Republic of Finland to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

One of the main aims of Directive 2006/126/EC is to raise the level of protection of driving licences. By applying the time limits under the directive, that aim may be realised and the latest methods made use of when issuing driving licences for preventing fraud and achieving the traffic safety objectives of the directive. Article 1 of Directive 2006/126/EC requires the introduction of a national driving licence based on the Community model in Annex I. Article 7(1) of the directive lays down requirements for driving licences and Article 7(2) defines the administrative validity of driving licences issued as from 19 February 2013. The administrative validity period of duplicate driving licences issued in Finland after 19 January 2013 can be much longer than is permitted by Article 7(2)(a) and (b) of Directive 2006/126/EC.

In accordance with Article 7(5)(d) of Directive 2006/126/EC, the Member States are to use the EU driving licence network once the network is brought into operation. The EU driving licence network (RESPER) has been set up and it became operational on 19 January 2013. Since Finland has not joined the EU driving licence network (RESPER), it is not possible to ascertain in the network whether the conditions for issuing a driving licence are satisfied. The other Member States cannot check together with Finland the fulfilment of the conditions for issuing a driving licence, and cannot exchange information with Finland through the network. The exchange of information in accordance with Article 15 of Directive 2006/126/EC is thus not possible with Finland by using the EU driving licence network.

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1 OJ 2006 L 403, p. 18.