Monday, July 15, 2024
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Huge step forward in defeating vnuk

A vital EU vote on insurance law changes that could have been catastrophic for motorsport has gone in the sport’s favour. The 2014 Vnuk case at the European Court of Justice set a precedent that all vehicles in the EU should have insurance, even if they are being used on private land, and that the Motor Insurance Directive (MID) was being interpreted incorrectly.

That would mean all vehicles competing in motorsport across Europe would need to be insured individually, and instances such as motorcycles colliding on a racetrack could become road traffic accidents and involve the police.

A second case in Portugal involving a vehicle that had been stored by an elderly lady then stolen and crashed without insurance, causing injury to a third party, had set another precedent that could potentially create problems for the owners of classic vehicle collections – making motor insurance compulsory even for stored vehicles. Again, it looks as though this threat has been nullified.

Dan Dalton, an MEP for the West Midlands, is the son of a former marshal and timekeeper and had put forward the motion of excluding motorsport from the amended wording of the MID to the EU Parliamentary committee he sits on.

The internal market committee voted on the amendment on Tuesday and sided with excluding motorsport from the implementation of the new insurance law.

The amendment still needs to be passed by the main parliament in plenary session, but it rarely goes against the decisions of its committees and the vote in the committee was seen as the most important.

Once that vote has been held, and assuming it has been successful, the MEP responsible for the law will then negotiate the exact wording of the text with the EU governments and the European Commission, known as trilogues.

It is hoped this process will be completed by May, as failing to complete the law before the EU elections could derail it with new MEPs departing and entering the parliament after the elections.

THE VOTE

Tuesday’s debate on the directive went completely in favour of campaigners, with the relevant committee in the European Parliament, IMCO, voting by an overwhelming majority (32 for, 2 against) to exempt various vehicles from the scope of the Motor Insurance Directive.

The next stage is almost certain to be a three-way discussion between the representatives of the parliament (MEPs), council (national governments) and the Commission called trilogue. This is not anticipated until later this year due to EU elections and a change of Commissioners. This means that a lot of the personnel will change but it is not anticipated that the Parliament will change its position. Campaigners are still unclear of what the Council position is, but feedback is that the member states are broadly in-line, with a few exceptions (thought to be France, Belgium and Finland).

It is hoped that Tuesday’s vote in the Parliament will strengthen the position of those in favour of exempting motorsport.

Regardless, we are still not over the line, but an important milestone has been achieved.’

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