Procedure : 2008/0237(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0020/2011

Texts tabled :

A7-0020/2011

Debates :

PV 15/02/2011 - 4
CRE 15/02/2011 - 4

Votes :

PV 15/02/2011 - 9.10
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0052

REPORT     ***III
PDF 154kWORD 108k
2.2.2011
PE 454.601v03-00 A7-0020/2011

on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

(PE-CONS 00063/2010 – C7‑0015/2011 – 2008/0237(COD))

European Parliament delegation to the Conciliation Committee

Delegation Chair: Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou

Rapporteur: Antonio Cancian

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

(PE-CONS 00063/2010 – C7‑0015/2011 – 2008/0237(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: third reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee (PE-CONS 00063/2010 – C7‑0015/2011),

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 16 July 2009(1),

–   having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0817),

–   having regard to its position at second reading(3) on the Council position at first reading(4),

–   having regard to the Commission's opinion on Parliament's amendments to the Council position at first reading (COM(2010)0469),

–   having regard to the Council position at second reading,

–   having regard to Article 294(13) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to Rule 69 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of its delegation to the Conciliation Committee (A7‑0020/0000),

1.  Approves the joint text;

2.  Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council, in accordance with Article 297(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

3.  Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

4.   Instructs its President to forward this legislative resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1)

OJ C 317, 23.12.2009, p. 99.

(2)

OJ C 184 E, 8.7.2010, p. 312.

(3)

Texts adopted of 6.7.2010, P7_TA(2010)0256.

(4)

OJ C 122 E, 11.5.2010, p. 1.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Background

The Commission presented on 4 December 2008 a proposal for a draft Regulation on the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport. Taking account of the steady growth of this transport sector the aim of this proposal is to establish EU-wide rights for the protection of passengers comparable to those in other modes of transport and to secure a level playing field between carriers from different Member States as well as the various modes of transport.

The codecision and conciliation procedure

Following Parliament's position in first reading on 23 April 2009 the Council adopted its position at first reading on 11 March 2010. The latter modified substantially core elements of the draft Regulation by watering down or entirely deleting several major provisions contained in both the Commission proposal and the EP position at first reading.

Parliament concluded its second reading on 6 July 2010 adopting 50 amendments to the Council's common position. The main issues at stake were: the scope and timetable of application of the Regulation; rules on liability, damages and assistance; the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility; the rights of passengers in the event of cancellations or delays; treatment of complaints and national enforcement bodies.

As the Council was not able to accept all of Parliament's amendments the conciliation procedure was necessary. The Parliament Delegation held its constituent meeting on 8 September 2010 in Strasbourg. Ms Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Vice-President and Chair of the Delegation, Mr Simpson, Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and Mr Cancian, rapporteur, were given a mandate by the Delegation to negotiate with the Council.

Three trilogues were held on 13 September, 13 October and 16 November, followed by meetings of the EP Delegation on 19 October and 23 November. These trilogues lead to some progress on a number of points, but the issue of scope proved to be the main stumbling block.

The Conciliation Committee met in the evening of 30 November 2010 in the European Parliament with a view to formally opening the conciliation procedure and possibly reaching agreement on all outstanding issues. After several hours of deliberations an overall agreement was reached in the early hours of the next day. It was confirmed by the EP Delegation with eighteen votes in favour, one against and three abstentions.

Main points of the agreement reached

The main points of the agreement reached can be summarised as follows:

Scope

The Regulation shall apply to all regular services, national and cross-border, where the scheduled distance is equal to, or longer than, 250 km ('long distance'). Passengers travelling only a part of such a long-distance service are also covered.

In addition, a series of twelve basic rights of the Regulation will apply also to passengers travelling over shorter scheduled distances. These rights focus in particular on the needs of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility such as non-discriminatory access to transport, the right to compensation for loss of, or damage to, wheelchairs or other mobility equipment, submission and handling of complaints, disability-related training of staff of buses or coaches, information to be provided during the journey etc.

Time derogations

With the exception of these basic rights Member States may exempt domestic regular services from the application of the Regulation for a period no longer than four years, renewable once. Member States may also exempt particular services because a significant part of such services is operated outside the Union for a period no longer than four years, renewable once.

Compensation and assistance in the event of accidents

Passengers are entitled to compensation for death, including reasonable funeral expenses, or personal injury as well as to loss of or damage to luggage due to accidents. The ceilings for such compensation under national law must not be lower than the minimum amounts laid down in the Regulation, that is, EUR 220.000 per passenger and EUR 1200 per item of luggage. Damage to assistive devices such as wheelchairs has to be compensated entirely.

Moreover, in the event of an accident passengers are entitled to assistance to cover their immediate practical needs, including, where necessary, provision of food and clothes, transport, facilitation of first assistance, and accommodation of up to EUR 80 per night and per passenger for a maximum of two nights.

Rights of passengers in the event of cancellations or delays

Where a bus or coach service is cancelled or delayed for more than 120 minutes or overbooked, passengers shall immediately be offered the choice between continuation of the journey or re-routing to their final destination at no additional cost or reimbursement of the ticket price; if the carrier fails to offer this choice, passengers shall have the right to compensation amounting to 50% of the ticket price, in addition to the reimbursement of the ticket price.

Where the bus or coach becomes inoperable during the journey, the carrier shall provide either the continuation of the service with another vehicle or transport to a suitable waiting point or terminal from where the continuation of the journey becomes possible.

In the event of cancellation or delay passengers shall be provided with all necessary information; where feasible, this information shall be provided by electronic means to all passengers, including those not departing from terminals, if the passenger has requested this and has provided the necessary contact details to the carrier.

Where a journey of more than three hours is cancelled or delayed in departure for more than 90 minutes, assistance must also be offered in the form of the provision of snacks, meals or refreshments, as well as hotel accommodation of up to EUR 80 per night and per person, for a maximum of two nights; however, the obligation to provide accommodation does not apply if the cancellation or delay is caused by severe weather conditions or major natural disasters.

Rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility

Bus and coach companies are required to provide assistance to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, provided that the passenger informs the company of his/her needs at the latest 36 hours before departure. If the operator is unable to provide suitable assistance, the passenger with reduced mobility may be accompanied at no extra cost by a companion of his/her choice. Any loss of or damage to wheelchairs or other assistance equipment must be compensated by the company or the management body of the station responsible.

Conclusion

The final text can be regarded as a very satisfactory and well balanced compromise as it manages to secure the rights of passengers without at the same time imposing a heavy burden on carriers, most of which are small and medium sized enterprises. In particular the outcome of the conciliation procedure can be regarded as successful for the European Parliament considering that:

a) on the scope the initial Council negotiating position foresaw 500 km and the compromise reached is 250 km;

b) as regards the basic rights of passengers independent of distance, the initial Council position included only three such rights and the final compromise twelve, with special focus on the needs of disabled persons and persons of reduced mobility;

c) with regard to exemptions, the Council sought periods of up to 15 years for domestic services and of an indefinite time for international services, whereas the final compromise foresees a maximum of eight years in both cases (a period of four years, renewable once);

d) in the event of an accident or a cancelled or a delayed departure for more than ninety minutes every passenger shall have the right, if necessary, to hotel accommodation for a total cost of EUR 80 per night and for a maximum of two nights whereas the initial Council position foresaw EUR 50;

e) in the event of an accident passengers shall have the right to immediate assistance, including accommodation (see above), food, clothes, transport and the facilitation of first assistance;

f) in the event of a cancellation, a delay for more than 120 minutes or overbooking, passengers shall have the right to compensation amounting to 50% of the ticket price, in addition to the right of continuation or re-routing to the final destination or reimbursement of the ticket price;

g) the agreement foresees the provision of updated information to passengers in real time by electronic means.

The Parliament Delegation to the Conciliation Committee therefore recommends that the joint text be approved at third reading.

PROCEDURE

Title

Proposal for a Regulation of The European Parliament and of the Council concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

References

PE-CONS 63/2010 – C7‑0015/2011 – 2008/0237(COD)

Delegation Chair: Vice-President

Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou

Committee responsible

  Chair

TRAN

Brian Simpson

Rapporteur(s)

Antonio Cancian

 

Draft act considered at first reading

COM(2008)0817 – C6‑0469/2008

Date of first reading – P number

23.04.2009

P6_TA(2009)0281

Amended Commission proposal

 

Council position at first reading

  Date announced in plenary

05218/3/2010 – C7‑0077/2010

25.03.2010

 

Commission position(Article 294(6), Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union)

 

COM(2010)0121

Date of second reading – P number

06.07.2010

P7_TA(2010)0256

Commission opinion(Article 294(7)(c), Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union)

 

COM(2010)0469

Date Council received second reading

09.08.2010

Date of Council letter on non-approval of Parliament amendments

25.11.2010

Conciliation Committee meetings

30.11.2010

 

 

 

Date of vote by Parliament delegation

30.11.2010

Result of vote

+:

–:

0:

18

1

3

Members present

Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Antonio Cancian, Brian Simpson, Georges Bach, Mathieu Grosch, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Ádám Kósa, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Inés Ayala Sender, Saïd El Khadraoui, Debora Serracchiani, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Michael Cramer, Eva Lichtenberger

Substitute(s) present

Carlo Fidanza, Werner Kuhn, Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Hella Ranner, Spyros Danellis, Ismail Ertug, Nathalie Griesbeck, Vilja Savisaar-Toomast; Guido Milana

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the vote

 

 

Date of agreement in Conciliation Committee

30.11.2010

Agreement by exchange of letters

0.0.0000

0.0.0000

Date on which the co-Chairs established that the joint text had been approved and forwarded it to Parliament and the Council

24.1.2011

Date tabled

2.2.2011

Comments (available in one language only)

 

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