Despite these problems, most experts feel enough progress can be made to ensure some sort of deal at the ministerial meeting. “I think at least a political agreement should be possible, although perhaps it will not quite be ready for a signature,” said one.Others point to the fact that if Austria, Sweden and Germany stick to their guns, then no progress will be made on the convention – a situation none of the three would like to see.“The ideal solution would obviously be to harmonise rules on driving, but that will not happen for at least ten years,” said one national diplomat, adding that if all countries could agree to the convention as a first step, then at least some progress would be made.Even if the legislation is provisionally adopted in December, errant EU motorists are unlikely to fall foul of the law for some years to come.All conventions drawn up under the EU’s ‘third pillar’ – the section of the Union treaty which deals with justice and home affairs – have to be ratified in all 15 national parliaments and, based on past experience, this process could take up to two years. National officials putting the finishing touches to a convention on driving bans are optimistic that justice and home affairs ministers will approve the text when they meet in Brussels in early December.If adopted, the agreement would oblige national authorities to include offences committed in another EU member state on their citizens’ driving records.Justice and home affairs experts, who have been working on the document since 1994, admit that some obstacles have yet to be overcome. The three member states least happy with the current draft of the text are Sweden, Germany and Austria.All three would like to have the option to impose tougher sanctions on their citizens in cases where they felt rules were too lax in the member state where the offence was committed.The convention does not allow for this as legal experts say it would amount to ‘double jeopardy’ – permitting an offender to be punished twice for the same misdemeanour.Under the current proposal, a member state would be obliged to take note of another administration’s decision but would not be able to take tougher action against the driver in question.However, some EU countries argue that, under their national legal systems, taking note of another country’s ruling does not amount to placing a legal sanction on a driver’s record.“These matters are decided as an administrative issue in my country. The court in Sweden makes a decision based on what it thinks the future risk would be for the person with this driving licence,” explained one Swedish diplomat.