The European Commission decided today to refer Austria to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to comply with European rules on the certification of train drivers (Directive 2007/59/EC).
The referral is due to the fact that the Austrian authority appointed as competent authority for the purposes of the Directive, tasked notably with the licensing of the train drivers, is not the safety authority, contrary to what the Directive explicitly requires. The authority tasked with the licensing of train drivers is the public railway corporation Schieneninfrastruktur-Dienstleistungsgesellschaft mbH (SCHIG mbH) whereby it should be exercised by Transport, Innovation and Technology Ministry of Austria.
The Commission considers that it was for the Austrian authorities to take all necessary measures to remedy this situation.
The Commission opened EU infringement procedure against Austria by sending a letter of formal notice to the national authorities in November 2015, followed by a reasoned opinion in April 2017.
According to the EU rules on certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the Union's railway system (Directive 2007/59/EC), the ‘competent authority' that licenses train drivers means the safety authority referred to in the relevant piece of EU legislation on railways safety (Directive 2004/49/EC).