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Debates
Tuesday, 15 February 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Rights of passengers in bus and coach transport (debate)
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  Vilja Savisaar-Toomast (ALDE). (ET) Madam President, Estonians have a proverb: ‘Practice makes perfect’. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for the directive on coach passengers’ rights, which, following a long conciliation procedure, ultimately distanced itself from the principles that had been requested by the European Parliament. It is indeed good that we now have minimal fundamental rights, but it is unacceptable that the agreed 250 km route denies these rights in three states. In addition, these rights are minimal in three to four other states because there are perhaps only one or two coach routes that long.

Furthermore, it is not acceptable that cross-border coach services were excluded, irrespective of the distance, and also we cannot support the eight-year period given to Member States where implementation of the said directive is not compulsory. Unfortunately, the Estonian Government supported these very conditions, and furthermore demanded a longer route. Now we need to ask ourselves whether we are indeed supporting passengers’ rights, or those of coach companies and their profits. In any case, while I support the citizens of the European Union, I do not understand why part of Europe is excluded from this directive. I therefore feel unable to vote in favour of this directive or the report.

 
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