The agreement reached in conciliation between Parliament and Council has left it to the Commission to propose compulsory insurance schemes for companies six years after the directive enters into force.
Disagreements between the Parliament and the Council were ironed out in conciliation committee. The most serious related to the question of whether or not to impose mandatory insurance schemes to companies, as was requested by Parliament. It was finally agreed that they would take an insurance scheme only on a voluntary basis. In return, the Council agreed to an amendment requiring the Commission to issue a report on developing a possible mandatory insurance scheme six years after the entry into force of the directive. It could then submit a proposal on a harmonised system of financial security that would set a ceiling for compensation and exclude low risk activities. In the meantime, Member States are required to encourage insurance companies to develop such security instruments and operators to use them.
On another sensitive issue, that of finding ways to treat the damage after it has been made (the so-called remedies), it was agreed that they would be be carried out by the authorities only as a means of last resort.
An innovative feature of the directive is that it allows public interest groups such as NGOs to require public authorities to act or to challenge their decisions before the courts.