European Transport Safety Council Directives
Pre May 2015
Up until recently, individual European countries would set-up bilateral agreements regarding traffic regulation enforcement. This is the case for example for UK and Ireland; Switzerland and Italy; to name a few. Talks of unifying or regulating cross-border traffic infringements date way back. In 2011 an EU directive (n. 2011/82/EU) was approved and came into force in 2013, allowing drivers to be prosecuted cross-border. The legal basis of this directive were then deemed invalid in May 2014 by the European Court of Justice, and thus the EU began studying a new directive.
The Current State of Affairs (post May 2015)
According to this FAQ page from the European Transport Safety Council, the new European cross-border enforcement regulations (EU directive 2015/413) were approved in March 2015, and are to be transposed into national rules by all member countries (with the exception of UK, Ireland and Denmark) by the 6th of May 2015. This directive will allow countries to follow-up traffic infringements from foreign drivers, by accessing national vehicle registration details without the need for bilateral agreements.
The linked ETSC FAQ page describes eight major driving offences which can now be prosecuted cross-border:
- Not using a seatbelt;
- Not stopping at a red traffic light or other mandatory stop signal;
- Drink driving;
- Driving under the influence of drugs;
- Not wearing a safety helmet (for motorcyclists);
- Using a forbidden lane (such as the forbidden use of an emergency lane, a lane reserved for public transport, or a lane closed down for road works);
- Illegally using a mobile phone, or any other communications device, while driving.
The functioning of the system is also described in the linked FAQ page. In short it leverages the current framework for mutual recognition for financial penalties, and a new cooperation system by which countries elect dedicated contact points responsible for handling such cross-border enforcement requests by other countries.
It follows that a mechanism for prosecuting road traffic infringements cross-border within the EU exists, and is gradually being enforced. This is not to say that all fines for offences committed abroad will be sent to your home, since the directive is left vague enough to allow countries some wiggle room. In particular, individual countries can choose whether or not to begin the cross-border prosecution procedure on a case-by-case basis - the mechanism is not launched automatically by all countries.
How About Point Systems?
The afore-mentioned directive does not mention point systems. To my knowledge these systems are country-specific, in terms of the number of points on a clean licence, the addition or subtraction of points, and the points per infringement. It would therefore seem that at the time of writing the lack of a common European driving licence point system determines a lack of control and prosecution mechanisms for point deduction/addition following traffic infringements.
And Country-Specific Driving Bans?
Being enforced in the country where the offence was committed (if applicable) it is safe to assume that driving bans will not depend on cross-border regulations. As Tor-Einar Jarnbjo mentions in his answer if committing a driving offence will cause you to be banned from driving in a country, then the ban will be effective as soon as the offence is processed by that country. You might or might not receive notification of this (this is not specified in the afore-mentioned EU directive) but you should nevertheless make sure you are aware of any bans you might have. You won't like it should your driving licence come up as banned in that country during a random police check.