The Malta Independent 26 February 2024, Monday
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Malta disagrees with lowering driving licence age to 17

Tuesday, 5 December 2023, 06:57 Last update: about 4 months ago

Malta disagrees with lowering the driving licence age to 17, also known as the accompanied driving scheme, Minister Aaron Farrugia said during the Transport Council of Ministers in Brussels, adding that lowering the age limit would contradict Malta's safety, congestion, and decarbonisation efforts.

Despite most other Member States supporting the proposal, Malta withheld its support for this proposal, which will now be negotiated with the European Parliament. The mandatory lowering of the driving licence age for car licence holders was a significant point of contention, and Minister Farrugia argued that this decision should remain at the discretion of individual member states.

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Regarding the road safety package, Malta appreciates the improved cross-border exchange of information on road safety offences and other measures such as zero-tolerance on drink-driving and updated testing rules, a Transport Ministry statement said.

The Council adopted a General Approach on seven proposals within the Maritime Safety, Green Freight, and Road Safety packages, also discussing amendments to breaks and rest periods in occasional passenger transport services.

Additionally, Malta together with Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Portugal, reiterated concerns about the EU-ETS legislation's impact on the maritime sector and the risk of carbon leakage. In a letter to Commissioners Šefčovič, Valean, and Hoekstra, they called for urgent corrective measures, ex-ante and not ex-post, to mitigate the adverse effects on EU ports and Member States' economies, as well as monitor evasive trends and market behaviour.

Minister Farrugia highlighted the importance of balance in the ETS Maritime in ongoing negotiations. Malta acknowledged the consideration of its concerns in the Maritime Safety Package, emphasising the need to balance EU shipping sector competitiveness with a safe, secure, and environmentally friendly maritime transport sector.

 

 

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