[QUOTE=sg38;394804]At least in Europe there's no need to have an instrument rating for night flying.
It's simply called night-vfr.
IFR a part of the PPL ?....sounds strange to me.[/QUOTE]
You don't need an instrument rating to fly at night in the United States either. And also, instrument training has been a part of the Private Pilot training syllabus for a long time, a few hours under the hood with special emphasis on recovering the aircraft from an unusual attitude referencing the primary instruments.
Very recently the FAA amended the requirement for a specified number of hours before training for an instrument rating. To me that was a smart decision long overdue as it now allows someone to combine the instrument training with his pursuit of the private pilot certificate -- essentially earning both concurrently.
Personally, I think the instrument rating is the single most beneficial piece of training a pilot can receive. It not only greatly expands the utility of your own flying, but adds immensely to the safety of your flying.