Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

25-11-2020

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. Recent 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 shortcomings and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism adopted its report on the proposal on 9 October 2018 and, subsequently, the Parliament adopted its first-reading position 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. The agreed text must still be formally adopted by Council before it returns to Parliament for adoption at second reading. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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. Recent 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 shortcomings and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism adopted its report on the proposal on 9 October 2018 and, subsequently, the Parliament adopted its first-reading position 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. The agreed text must still be formally adopted by Council before it returns to Parliament for adoption at second reading. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.