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Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

09-04-2021

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 ...

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 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these issues and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on this proposal on 15 November 2018. For its part, the Council adopted its general approach on 2 December 2019, under the Finnish Presidency. Interinstitutional negotiations began at the end of January 2020, and on 1 October 2020, under the Germany Presidency, Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the text. On 16 March 2021, the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism voted in favour of the agreed text as adopted by the Council. After more than three years of debate, the Parliament is expected to vote at second reading on this rather controversial proposal during its April 2021 plenary session.

Creating opportunities in sport for people with disabilities

15-02-2021

Disability is a complex, multidimensional and contested term for which there is no common definition, but which is generally understood as a dynamic interaction between health conditions and contextual factors, both personal and environmental. A billion people in the world, of whom over 70 million in the EU, live with disabilities today. Official sporting events for people with disabilities have existed for over a century. The Silent Games – the first competition for athletes with a disability (now ...

Disability is a complex, multidimensional and contested term for which there is no common definition, but which is generally understood as a dynamic interaction between health conditions and contextual factors, both personal and environmental. A billion people in the world, of whom over 70 million in the EU, live with disabilities today. Official sporting events for people with disabilities have existed for over a century. The Silent Games – the first competition for athletes with a disability (now Deaflympics) – were held in 1924 in Paris (France). Some disability sports are traditional sports slightly modified to meet the needs of people with a disability and are referred to as 'adapted sports'. Others, such as boccia, have been designed specifically with no equivalent in mainstream sport. 'Disability sport' is used as an umbrella term to describe sports activities developed for the benefit of people or athletes with disabilities. In the last century, various disability sports and competitions have been developed and run under the auspices of specialised international organisations. Regrettably, there is no centralised data collection on the participation of people with disabilities in sport at EU level. Instead, EU countries gather a variety of non-harmonised indicators, making it impossible to make consistent comparisons. According to a 2018 Eurobarometer survey, having a disability or illness is the third most frequently mentioned reason – by 14 % of respondents – for not practising sports more regularly. To remove such barriers and improve the participation of people with disabilities in sports, over 50 Erasmus+ projects have supported such activities since 2014. At national level, some EU countries, such as France, Ireland and the Netherlands, have adopted centralised approaches based on national strategies and funding initiatives. Others, including Belgium, Italy and Spain, favour strategies developed and implemented mainly at regional or local level. The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on sports activities for people with disabilities. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, rescheduled for August-September 2021, will be broadcast to an estimated global audience of 4.3 billion people and should help to put disability back at the heart of the inclusion agenda.

The Post-2020 European Disability Strategy

15-07-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, analyses the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and makes recommendations regarding the new European Disability Strategy. The study reflects on the design and implementation of the current Strategy, as well as its achievements and shortcomings. The study makes recommendations in respect of the post-2020 European Disability Strategy. Those ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, analyses the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and makes recommendations regarding the new European Disability Strategy. The study reflects on the design and implementation of the current Strategy, as well as its achievements and shortcomings. The study makes recommendations in respect of the post-2020 European Disability Strategy. Those recommendations are addressed to the European Parliament, the European Commission and other EU institutions, Member States and key stakeholders, and relate to the groundwork needed to prepare the new Strategy, and the design, content and mechanisms for implementation and enforcement.

Autore esterno

Lisa WADDINGTON, Faculty of Law, Maastricht University (NLs) Andrea BRODERICK, Faculty of Law, Maastricht University (NLs)

Access to cultural life for people with disabilities

02-12-2019

Despite the additional barriers they face, artists with disabilities make a creative contribution to cultural life. People with disabilities should also have equal access to works of art and be able to enjoy cultural life on a par with all citizens. The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities entered into force in 2011. It enshrined, among other rights, the right of people with disabilities to access cultural venues such as theatres, cinemas and museums, and to enjoy ...

Despite the additional barriers they face, artists with disabilities make a creative contribution to cultural life. People with disabilities should also have equal access to works of art and be able to enjoy cultural life on a par with all citizens. The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities entered into force in 2011. It enshrined, among other rights, the right of people with disabilities to access cultural venues such as theatres, cinemas and museums, and to enjoy cultural materials, books, films and music in an accessible format. It also highlighted the right of people with disabilities to participate in cultural life as both amateur and professional artists. The European Union, party to the Convention, is committed to working on legislation, and implementing and promoting programmes and actions in favour of these rights. The EU disability strategy is a step in this direction. It also covers the cultural rights of 80 million people with disabilities in the EU. According to a public consultation on disability issues carried out in accordance with the recommendations of experts from the Member States working on access to culture, such access is an important area that the EU should address. Various EU funds contribute financially to research and innovation, cultural and infrastructure projects, and programmes promoting the right to cultural life of people with disabilities within this framework. In October 2018, the EU also ratified the Marrakesh Treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, to facilitate access to published works for people who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled. The EU effectively became a party to the treaty as of 1 January 2019, committing to set mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired, and otherwise print disabled. The European Parliament and its Disability Intergroup, established in 1980, promote the rights, including the cultural rights, of people with disabilities.

Commitments made at the hearing of Helena DALLI, Commissioner-designate - Equality

22-11-2019

The commissioner-designate, Helena Dalli, appeared before the European Parliament on 02 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect ...

The commissioner-designate, Helena Dalli, appeared before the European Parliament on 02 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: - Fight against discrimination; - Rights of Persons with Disability; - European Gender Strategy; - Work–Life Balance Directive; - International Partnerships:Empowering women and girls; - Cooperating with the European Parliament and with other Commissioners.

What if technologies replaced humans in elderly care?

08-10-2019

Europeans are ageing. In 2016, there were 3.3 people of working-age for each citizen over 65 years. By 2070, this will fall to only two. As the population lives longer, our care needs grow, but fewer people will be available to deliver them. Could assistive technologies (ATs) help us to meet the challenges of elderly care?

Europeans are ageing. In 2016, there were 3.3 people of working-age for each citizen over 65 years. By 2070, this will fall to only two. As the population lives longer, our care needs grow, but fewer people will be available to deliver them. Could assistive technologies (ATs) help us to meet the challenges of elderly care?

European Accessibility Act

15-07-2019

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal, published on 2 December 2015, provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility ...

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal, published on 2 December 2015, provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility requirements to provide a clear definition of the existing general accessibility obligation laid down in European law. Many stakeholders welcomed the European Union's wish to honour its responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but they were divided on the means to reach this objective. In the European Parliament, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on 25 April 2017, which was discussed in plenary on 15 September. At the same time, Parliament gave a mandate to start negotiations with the Council. On 7 December 2017, the Council agreed on a position (general approach). On 8 November 2018, the EP and the Council came to a provisional agreement. The agreed text was adopted by the EP on 13 March 2019, then by the Council on 27 March, and published in the Official Journal on 7 June 2019. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, March I 2019

15-03-2019

Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia's Prime Minister. Parliament also held debates on a proposed European human rights violations sanctions regime; the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua; opening EU-US trade negotiations; climate change; gender balance in nominations to EU economic and monetary affairs bodies; and on the ...

Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia's Prime Minister. Parliament also held debates on a proposed European human rights violations sanctions regime; the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua; opening EU-US trade negotiations; climate change; gender balance in nominations to EU economic and monetary affairs bodies; and on the urgency to establish an EU blacklist of third countries with weak regimes on anti-money-laundering and countering terrorist financing. Finally, Parliament adopted first-reading positions on three further proposed funding programmes for the 2021-2027 period. A number of Brexit-preparedness measures were also adopted.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - May 2018

28-05-2018

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Rail passengers' rights and obligations

12-01-2018

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 ...

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 proposal follows a Commission report (COM(2013) 587 final) on the application of the regulation, which 'highlighted certain problematic areas', and a second Commission report (COM(2015) 117 final) on exemptions granted by Member States, which 'identified the extensive use of exemptions as a major hindrance to the uniform application of the regulation' (explanatory memorandum of the proposal, p. 2). In addition, the proposal follows the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU of 26 September 2013 in Case C-509/11, which is linked to the 'force majeure' issue described in the following section. The European Parliament has regularly taken a stand on passenger rights, by submitting written questions or by adopting resolutions.

Prossimi eventi

21-06-2021
Ensuring effective protection of European consumers in the digital economy
Audizione -
IMCO
22-06-2021
AFCO ICM on the Reform of European Electoral Law & Parliament's Right of Inquiry
Altro evento -
AFCO
22-06-2021
The development of new tax practices:what new schemes should the EU pay attention to?
Audizione -
FISC

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