Expatica : EU driving licence by 2012

Quote Originally Posted by Expatica
A single EU driving licence has been approved by transport ministers in an effort to fight fraud and raise road safety across the 25-nation bloc.

The new driving licence will come into force in 2012, replacing the 110 driving licence systems currently existing in the European Union.
The deal will also help tackle "driving licence tourism" \ where someone who loses their licence through bad driving in one country can move to another European country and easily obtain a new licence.
Presently, the old EU-15 countries already use the same format of drivers' licence. The only thing that differs is the country's name on the front page and the main language (though the term "driving licence" appears in all the EU's official languages). The licence is already valid in all the EU (+ Switzerland and Norway, I believe). Yet, driving rules slightly differ among member states, and examinations can strongly vary from place to place, even within the same country. Hence the so-called "fraud" to get licences where it is easiest (and cheapest) to get them, or to obtain a new one when it has been confiscated in one country.

BBC News : EU driving licence on the cards

Quote Originally Posted by BBC
The credit-card style licence, with photograph and possibly a microchip, would replace dozens of different licences used in the 25 member states.

Until last week, ministers could not agree on how often the licence would be renewed, but they have now agreed it should be every 10 or 15 years.

National driving licences would be phased out between 2012 and 2032.
Some EU countries currently issue driving licences for life.
Belgium is one of the countries issuing driving licences for life. It is certainly convenient, but not necessarily the best choice in terms of safety. One could have a licence and not drive for 30 years, then suddenly take the wheel again. Likewise, past a certain age, when senility settles, it becomes dangerous to drive, even when one hasn't stopped driving.