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C 277 E/92 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 14.11.

2002

Reply

(22 July 2002)

The Council would ask the Honourable Member to refer in part to the reply already made to him (in
response to question E-0062/02), in which it explained the overall framework in which it intends to
continue its consideration of this issue.

The Council shares the Honourable Member’s positive view of the beneficial effect of the Community’s
structural intervention in Ireland, which has been achieved in combination with successful domestic macro
and micro economic policies. This shows that for the effectiveness of the Structural and Cohesion Funds to
be maximised, spending of these Funds needs to well co-ordinated with appropriate domestic policies.

(2002/C 277 E/101) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0824/02


by Karl von Wogau (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(25 March 2002)

Subject: Conversion of a French driving licence in Germany

Is the Commission aware that a driving licence lawfully obtained in France can only be converted into a
German driving licence without the need for a further test if its holder can prove that, at the time of
obtaining the licence, he had his normal place of residence in France? Does it consider this to be
compatible with the principle of freedom to provide services in the internal market?

Will it amend Article 7 of Directive 91/439/EEC (1) so that a driving licence can be obtained in another
Member State irrespective of the applicant’s normal place of residence?

Background:

7 The holder of the driving licence has both German and French nationality. He lives mostly in
Germany, but regularly (at weekends) and for longer periods (during school holidays) visits his
grandparents in France, where he asked a driving school whether he could obtain a Class B driving
licence and whether this could then be converted in Germany. He was told that this was possible.

7 The competent district authority in Germany is refusing to convert the driving licence, arguing that its
holder cannot prove that he had his place of residence in France at the time he obtained the licence or
that he obtained it during a six-month period of residence abroad as a student (§4, paragraph 3, of the
German Regulation on International Motor Vehicle Traffic (IntKfzVO), in conjunction with §28,
paragraph 4, of the German Regulation on Driving Licences (FeV)).

7 The relevant German rules would not prevent the holder of the driving licence from obtaining a
licence in any other town or city in Germany, and he would not need to have his normal place of
residence there. However, they do not allow him to obtain a driving licence in another Member State
without having his normal place of residence in the country concerned.

(1) OJ L 237, 24.8.1991, p. 1.

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(8 May 2002)

Council Directive 91/4397 EEC of 29 July 1991 on driving licences (1), which entered into force on 1 July
1996, introduced the principle of mutual recognition of driving licences. It is clear that all licences issued
by Member States which are valid in the country where they were issued must be mutually recognised.
14.11.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 277 E/93

However, Article 7 of the Directive lays down several requirements for a licence to be issued, namely that
applicants must have passed a test of skills and behaviour and a theoretical test, must meet medical
standards and must have their normal residence in the Member State issuing the licence. Article 9 defines
the concept of normal residence in detail. A driving licence may therefore be issued only to persons who
have their normal residence in the Member State concerned. An exemption is provided for students who
may opt to obtain a driving licence either in the Member State in which they have their normal residence
or in the Member State in which they are studying.

The Commission does not intend to amend Article 7 of the above Directive at this stage.

(1) OJ L 237, 24.8.1991.

(2002/C 277 E/102) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0837/02


by Caroline Jackson (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 March 2002)

Subject: Article 151 of the EC Treaty and cultural heritage 7 co-ordinating action outside the EU

According to Article 151(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, action is possible at EU
level with a view to the conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage of European significance.

Several Member States maintain institutes of a cultural nature outside the EU which are designed to
promote research on cultural heritage matters such as archaeology.

To what extent would it be possible for the European Commission to assist the work of such institutes, for
example in terms of providing scholarships for students from the host country, developing links between
the institutes in terms of shared facilities, or facilitating links with other European universities and research
bodies from Member States that lack such local representation?

(2002/C 277 E/103) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0839/02


by Caroline Jackson (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 March 2002)

Subject: Article 151 of the EC Treaty and cultural heritage 7 relations with other European bodies

According to Article 151(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, action is possible at EU
level with a view to the conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage of European significance.

Although this area of policy at international level in Europe was traditionally a responsibility of the
Council of Europe, there is evident scope for the EU to extend its activities in this regard and to develop its
relations with other international bodies.

What contacts have been established between the Commission and the Council of Europe, Unesco, Icomos
and other bodies which exist to encourage the conservation of cultural heritage? Could links with the
European Science Foundation be developed to promote research programmes linked to cultural heritage
matters?

Does the Commission see any scope for extending collaboration with organisations at national and
international levels, with particular regard to:

7 promoting collaboration between national bodies devoted to the conservation of monuments and
sites,

7 promoting links between universities and research institutes, and

7 promoting contacts between individual research workers and specialists?