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Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

27-05-2019

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provided for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. While the implementation of these rights has generally been smooth, recent reports have concluded that this is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential ...

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provided for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. While the implementation of these rights has generally been smooth, recent reports have concluded that this is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. On 27 September 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these shortcomings and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The EP's Committee on Transport and Tourism responsible for the file, adopted its report on 9 October 2018. The Parliament subsequently adopted its first-reading position by a large majority, in plenary on 15 November 2018. In Council, discussions have yet to reach a conclusion. Once the Council adopts its negotiating position, it will be possible to start trilogue negotiations in the new parliamentary term. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Road transport: Driving, breaks, rest times and tachographs

08-04-2019

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the current proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation ...

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the current proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation between Member States and authorities. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted a report and the mandate to start interinstitutional negotiations. However, during the June 2018 plenary session, Parliament did not endorse the mandate and in July it rejected the report, referring it back to the committee. The Council reached a general approach on this proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. On 10 January 2019, the TRAN committee failed to reach a new agreement on the proposal for plenary. In March, the Conference of Presidents decided to include this file on the agenda of the March II plenary session. After procedural complications, Parliament adopted its first-reading position during the subsequent plenary session, on 4 April 2019.

Road transport: Enforcement and special provisions for posted workers

08-04-2019

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The current proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings ...

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The current proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings of the Enforcement Directive, such as non-uniform implementation. Additionally, it puts forward specific rules on the posting of workers in the road sector, to respond to concerns raised regarding the inadequacy of the Posting of Workers Directive, when applied to the road transport sector. The European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report and a mandate to start interinstitutional negotiations in June 2018. However, Parliament did not endorse the mandate and then, in July 2018, rejected the report, referring it back to the TRAN committee. The Council agreed a general approach on this proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. In January 2019, the TRAN committee failed to reach an agreement on a compromise proposal. In March, the Conference of Presidents decided to include this file on the agenda of the March II plenary session. After procedural complications, Parliament adopted its first-reading position during the subsequent plenary session, on 4 April 2019.

Access to the occupation of road transport operator and to the international road haulage market

08-04-2019

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fair competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, however, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part ...

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fair competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, however, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of a 'mobility package', the European Commission adopted a new proposal to address the main shortcomings affecting the sector, and improve its competitiveness and efficiency. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report and a negotiating mandate for trilogue. However, Parliament did not endorse the mandate and in July 2018, rejected the report, referring it back to the committee. In the meantime, the Council reached a general approach on the three proposals in the package, in December 2018. On 10 January 2019, the TRAN committee adopted a compromise proposal but failed to reach an agreement on the two linked files on driving times and posting. In March, the Conference of Presidents decided to include this file on the agenda of the March II plenary session. After procedural complications, Parliament adopted its first-reading position during the subsequent plenary session, on 4 April 2019.

Road transport: Social and market rules

21-03-2019

In May 2017, to upgrade social and market rules in the road haulage sector, the European Commission put forward a set of three proposals: on driving times, posting and cabotage. In June 2018, the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its reports on these proposals and mandates to launch interinstitutional negotiations. However, the plenary rejected the mandates to start negotiations and subsequently the three reports, referring them back to the TRAN committee in ...

In May 2017, to upgrade social and market rules in the road haulage sector, the European Commission put forward a set of three proposals: on driving times, posting and cabotage. In June 2018, the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its reports on these proposals and mandates to launch interinstitutional negotiations. However, the plenary rejected the mandates to start negotiations and subsequently the three reports, referring them back to the TRAN committee in July 2018. In January 2019, the committee adopted a new set of amendments on cabotage but failed to reach an agreement on the two linked files on driving times and posting. The three files are expected to be put to a new vote in plenary in March.

Digitalisation in railway transport: A lever to improve rail competitiveness

20-02-2019

Since the 1990s, digitalisation has been advancing at speed across all industrial sectors, public entities and society at large; and railways are no exception. Digital technologies already govern rail customers' expectations, ticket reservation and purchasing habits, operators' information and payments systems, but experts believe these technologies have much more to offer the sector. Digitalisation is key to industry competitiveness and has therefore become an EU priority. The EU has been forging ...

Since the 1990s, digitalisation has been advancing at speed across all industrial sectors, public entities and society at large; and railways are no exception. Digital technologies already govern rail customers' expectations, ticket reservation and purchasing habits, operators' information and payments systems, but experts believe these technologies have much more to offer the sector. Digitalisation is key to industry competitiveness and has therefore become an EU priority. The EU has been forging a cross-policy approach and programmes to ensure a solid policy framework, finance research and infrastructure, develop standards and connectivity, and use data effectively. This should enable rail actors to capture digitalisation's potential, improve their efficiency and serve their customers better. The European Parliament has been contributing to this policy. Rail companies have already implemented a vast array of new services and applications using digital technologies, be it for providing more information and leisure services on board, improving the monitoring of their assets or automating more operations. The changes introduced by digitalisation in rail transport are perceived by many stakeholders as an opportunity – owing to the benefits it can offer – but also as a challenge. Indeed, it will require a change of mindsets and business models. Rail digitalisation will also require financial investment and a strategy to tackle cyber threats. Addressing these challenges will allow digitalisation to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the railway sector.

Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

07-11-2018

In the European Union (EU), rail passengers' rights and obligations are governed by Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007, applicable since the end of 2009, which provides for all passengers a harmonised level of information, assistance and protection. In September 2017, the European Commission adopted a new proposal which aims to strike a better balance between strengthening passengers' rights and reducing the burden on rail companies. The European Parliament is due to vote its position on this proposal ...

In the European Union (EU), rail passengers' rights and obligations are governed by Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007, applicable since the end of 2009, which provides for all passengers a harmonised level of information, assistance and protection. In September 2017, the European Commission adopted a new proposal which aims to strike a better balance between strengthening passengers' rights and reducing the burden on rail companies. The European Parliament is due to vote its position on this proposal during its November I plenary session.

Road transport: Social and market rules

27-06-2018

In May 2017, as part of the 'Europe on the move' initiative, the European Commission put forward a set of three proposals to update social and market rules in the road transport sector. In June 2018, the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its reports on the proposals, and mandates to begin trilogue negotiations. However, during the June plenary session, the Parliament did not endorse the mandates. Therefore, according to the rules of procedure, the TRAN reports ...

In May 2017, as part of the 'Europe on the move' initiative, the European Commission put forward a set of three proposals to update social and market rules in the road transport sector. In June 2018, the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its reports on the proposals, and mandates to begin trilogue negotiations. However, during the June plenary session, the Parliament did not endorse the mandates. Therefore, according to the rules of procedure, the TRAN reports will be put to the vote during the July plenary.

Rail freight in the EU: Developing a tool for more sustainable transport

11-04-2017

In the early 20th century, rail was by far the most important mode for hauling goods across Europe. Since then, the freight market has undergone profound changes. In 2014, rail accounted for less than 12 % of all freight in the EU, while its main competitor, road haulage, achieved roughly a 50 % market share. This development entailed environmental concerns, road being considered more detrimental to the environment than rail. In the context of a predicted increase in freight transport, the EU has ...

In the early 20th century, rail was by far the most important mode for hauling goods across Europe. Since then, the freight market has undergone profound changes. In 2014, rail accounted for less than 12 % of all freight in the EU, while its main competitor, road haulage, achieved roughly a 50 % market share. This development entailed environmental concerns, road being considered more detrimental to the environment than rail. In the context of a predicted increase in freight transport, the EU has adopted a broad policy framework and a set of initiatives to promote more sustainable transport where rail freight plays an important role. These range from measures to improve the competitiveness, governance and technical compatibility of the rail sector in general, to specific provisions to support rail freight networks and services. The EU has also provided for a set of financing instruments and programmes. Today, experts seem to share a common understanding of the unsatisfactory performance of rail freight: regulatory and management issues, an uneven playing field and insufficient effectiveness of EU funding are among the main causes that are being discussed. At the same time, a consensus seems to have emerged on the need to increase rail freight in the EU. As a result, recommendations have been made to enhance and stabilise the regulatory environment; improve management and better adapt it to rail freight needs; make more consistent use of EU funds to improve the infrastructure; better exploit the potential of intermodal facilities; and monitor more closely the results achieved. Ongoing steps, such as rail projects at EU and national level and implementation of the EU regulatory framework, are already contributing to making rail freight a more customer-oriented and sustainable mode of transport.

Fourth railway package: Market pillar

07-12-2016

At its December plenary session, the European Parliament is scheduled to vote at second reading to confirm trilogue agreements on a set of proposals to liberalise rail markets further and to improve their governance. These proposals form the 'market pillar' of the fourth railway package, put forward by the European Commission in January 2013. After the adoption on 28 April 2016 of the 'technical pillar', dealing with rail safety and technical compatibility, the market pillar measures would set a ...

At its December plenary session, the European Parliament is scheduled to vote at second reading to confirm trilogue agreements on a set of proposals to liberalise rail markets further and to improve their governance. These proposals form the 'market pillar' of the fourth railway package, put forward by the European Commission in January 2013. After the adoption on 28 April 2016 of the 'technical pillar', dealing with rail safety and technical compatibility, the market pillar measures would set a new milestone for the EU rail sector.

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