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European Community (Council Of Transport Ministers)

Volume 987: debated on Friday 27 June 1980

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asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a statement on the inland transport matters discussed at the Council of Transport Ministers of the European Community which met on 24 June.

Agreement was reached at the Council on the form of a directive which would provide for driving licences to be based on a common model; and for citizens of one member State of the Community who go to live in another to exchange their licences—subject to certain safeguards relating, in particular to licences for heavy goods and public service vehicles. Consultations with transport interests will now be undertaken before the proposals are put to Parliament. Meanwhile the United Kingdom entered a formal reservation at the Council meeting.The Council approved in principle a proposal for common starting dates for summer time in 1981 and 1982. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department made plain in answering a question by my hon. Friend, the Member for Meriden (Mr. Mills) on 10 June 1980, that the Government welcomed this proposal and would seek the agreement of Parliament.—[Vol. 986, c. 99–100] Meanwhile the United Kingdom entered a formal reservation at the Council meeting.A directive on inland waterway statistics was agreed. Other proposals on rail statistics, rail tariffs and combined transport, were referred back to the Committee of Permanent Representatives for further examination.In taking note of the European Commission's report on the implementation of the drivers' hours regulation (543/69) in 1975 and 1976 the Council stressed the need for effective and uniform application of its provisions.Progress reports were made on various other matters, including the European Commission's proposals on transport infrastructure.