The move to issue one license throughout the EU came at the behest of both legislators and safety advocates alike, in an attempt to curtail confusion and eliminate abuses in the current system. A number of problems have arose over the last several years, including the phenomenon of "Driving license tourism", where a person who's had their driving privilege revoked in one country for drunk driving offenses or a medical condition, would then travel to another country to secure a valid license.
This new law would also make staged licensing of motorcyclists mandatory across the EU, where beginners would only be permitted to ride small displacement machines until their competence behind the handlebars was established. The addition of a small microchip inside licenses was also addressed in the new legislation, however such a device would not be mandatory.
As with any bureaucratic endeavor, the status quo will continue for some time, as the law will only go into effect in 2013, with all drivers forced to give up their old licenses by 2033.
[Source: EU Observer, Channel4]