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

The study provides a comprehensive analysis of the progress and potential of modal shift from road to more sustainable transport modes, with respect to the policy objectives set in the 2011 White Paper on transport. The study focuses both on passenger and freight transport, highlighting main barriers and factors that are hampering a more effective modal shift at EU level, and providing policy recommendations for the way forward.

What if we were to travel on levitating trains?

Εν συντομία 12-04-2018

Magnetic levitation-based transport might be about to enter our lives, providing for faster, safer and more energy-efficient journeys. As it will enable longer distances to be covered more rapidly and cleanly, could it affect where we choose to live?

The European Commission, in line with its regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT), has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal seeks to rationalise inspections conducted by national administrations while ensuring a high level of passenger ship safety and without unnecessarily limiting the ship’s commercial ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, adopted on 27 September 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN). The proposal aims to amend Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 in order to strengthen the rights for all EU rail passengers, and to reduce the 'burden on railway undertakings due to the inconsistent application of the regulation' (IA, p. 9). The ...

Passenger ships operating intensively need to be inspected at regular, frequent intervals. The European Commission reviewed the related EU rules and proposed changes to rationalise the different existing inspection regimes. This proposal is part of an initiative to modernise EU passenger safety legislation and reduce administrative burden while maintaining a high level of maritime safety.

Ten more technologies which could change our lives

Λεπτομερής ανάλυση 14-07-2017

In 2015, the European Parliament's Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (DG EPRS) broke new ground with its publication 'Ten technologies which could change our lives – potential impacts and policy implications', with each chapter highlighting a particular technology, its promises and potential negative consequences, and the role that the European Parliament could and should play in shaping these developments. This new study continues this work, presenting ten additional technologies ...

Upon request by the Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) this study analyses the results, efficiency and effectiveness of the EU investment in rail infrastructure with a special focus on cross border rail projects. Beginning with a discussion of the reasons for the moderate success of EU railway policy it investigates four case studies with a focus on effectiveness of funding schemes and success of removing bottlenecks, particularly at border crossings, to improve attractiveness of the railway mode ...

High-speed rail in the EU

Briefing 29-09-2015

High-speed rail (HSR) started developing in Europe in the late 1970s, first in France and Italy, and subsequently in Germany, Spain and the UK, among others. In the early stages, its development took place largely at national level. The EU started providing specific support to European rail projects with the establishment of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) in the early 1990s, some priority projects of which concern HSR. The EU also promotes HSR development through other means, including ...

Rail security in the EU

Εν συντομία 29-09-2015

The foiled Thalys train attack of August 2015 has put EU rail security under the spotlight. Increasing passenger and freight flows and relatively open access to EU rail infrastructure make rail transport a soft target for unlawful acts. A ministerial-level meeting at the end of August examined the challenges facing rail security and the possibilities for a strengthened EU response.