The Vnuk case* has been a concern to the FIM since the judgment of the European Court of Justice in 2014. The ECJ heard a case that had nothing at all to do with our sport. Mr Vnuk had been injured in an accident on a farm when he was knocked from a ladder by a passing tractor and trailer. This took place in Slovenia and the Slovenian High Court asked the ECJ for guidance.
The ECJ ruled that the insurers for the tractor driver should pay compensation as although the accident was on private land (a farmyard) the Motor Insurance Directive of the European Union would still apply. Unfortunately the way that the judgment was worded has led to the view that the Insurance Directive will now affect a wide range of other activities including motorcycle racing.
As there is no appeal (the ECJ is the highest court in the EU) the European Commission is to seek amendments to the Motor Insurance Directive to clarify the legal position. A consultation process took place and the FIM participated.
An FIM task force led by FIM Europe President Dr Wolfgang Srb conducted a survey of the FIM national federations affected by the Vnuk case. The FIM also coordinated with the FIA.
Based on the results of the survey FIM replied to the EU consultation supporting new legislation that will exempt motorcycle sports from the effects of the Vnuk judgment.
What is the next stage?
The consultation is now closed. FIM will take further advocacy action when the EU Commission sends a proposal to the EU Parliament and EU Council. At this time we have no date for this.
The FIM position paper and the EU consultation document can be found here. (link to library?)
The FIA and FIM are in agreement with both organisations supporting the same position. This is also the view taken by the insurance industry in Europe.
*Damijan Vnuk v Zavarovalnica Trigalev (C-162/13) of the Court of Justice of the European Union