EUROPE: Eight EU member states face a deadline of May 14 to transpose fully the directive on driver certification into national law.

The eight states that have either failed to implement or have only partially implemented Directive 2007/59 are Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden.

The directive focuses on the framework that allows drivers to work in different member states driving 'the same type of vehicle'. The European Commission says that drivers should be permitted to drive trains outside their home country once they have passed a standard test, without requiring repeat examination of physical fitness or 'general professional knowledge'.

Such examinations act as a 'hindrance to the occupational mobility of train drivers', the Commission said. 'This makes it more difficult for rail operators to offer new services in other markets'. Failure to transpose the directive could result in referral to the European Court of Justice.