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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 ...

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.

2021: European Year of Rail

06-11-2020

Every year since 1983, the EU has chosen a special annual theme to celebrate and to bring to public attention. The idea is to raise awareness on the issue, encourage public debate on it across the EU and underline its political importance. The process can lead to new EU initiatives or legislation. 2021 has been designated European Year of Rail, to stir debate on railways' contribution to the European Green Deal and the environment. A wide range of events are planned, reaching out to the general public ...

Every year since 1983, the EU has chosen a special annual theme to celebrate and to bring to public attention. The idea is to raise awareness on the issue, encourage public debate on it across the EU and underline its political importance. The process can lead to new EU initiatives or legislation. 2021 has been designated European Year of Rail, to stir debate on railways' contribution to the European Green Deal and the environment. A wide range of events are planned, reaching out to the general public, to demonstrate the challenges and opportunities offered by rail, and promote it as a sustainable, innovative and safe mode of transport.

Post-Brexit rail safety and interoperability rules within the Channel Tunnel

02-10-2020

From 1 January 2021, EU law will no longer apply to the part of the Channel Tunnel under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. During the October I plenary session, Parliament is expected to vote on two proposals to maintain safe and efficient railway operations within the Channel Tunnel from that date. They aim to keep a single safety authority for the whole tunnel applying EU rules and to empower France to negotiate a new agreement with the United Kingdom to that end.

From 1 January 2021, EU law will no longer apply to the part of the Channel Tunnel under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. During the October I plenary session, Parliament is expected to vote on two proposals to maintain safe and efficient railway operations within the Channel Tunnel from that date. They aim to keep a single safety authority for the whole tunnel applying EU rules and to empower France to negotiate a new agreement with the United Kingdom to that end.

Measures for a sustainable rail market in view of the coronavirus pandemic

10-09-2020

Rail plays a major role in the EU economy and labour market: as of the end of 2016, railways employed roughly one million people. Moreover, by contributing to more sustainable and environmentally friendly transport, rail is critical to achieving the objectives of the Green Deal. The coronavirus outbreak had an adverse impact on domestic and international passenger and freight rail, and could also have negative financial consequences on all rail stakeholders and for the EU rail market structure. During ...

Rail plays a major role in the EU economy and labour market: as of the end of 2016, railways employed roughly one million people. Moreover, by contributing to more sustainable and environmentally friendly transport, rail is critical to achieving the objectives of the Green Deal. The coronavirus outbreak had an adverse impact on domestic and international passenger and freight rail, and could also have negative financial consequences on all rail stakeholders and for the EU rail market structure. During the September plenary session, Parliament is expected to vote under the urgent procedure on a legislative proposal to mitigate the consequences of the Covid 19 crisis on rail through temporary relief measures.

Access to the occupation of road transport operator and to the international road haulage market

07-07-2020

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fairer competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of ...

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fairer competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of a 'mobility package', the European Commission adopted a new proposal to address the main shortcomings affecting the sector, and improve its competitiveness and efficiency. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report. After further debates and procedural developments, Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on this proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four negotiating rounds, the Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, which was approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and the TRAN committee recommended on 8 June that Parliament approve it at second reading. The agreed text is thus due to be voted in plenary in July at second reading. If adopted, this would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Road transport: Enforcement and special provisions for posted workers

07-07-2020

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The present proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings ...

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The present proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings of the Enforcement Directive, such as non-uniform implementation. Additionally, it puts forward specific rules on the posting of workers in the road sector, to respond to concerns raised regarding the inadequacy of the Posting of Workers Directive, when applied to the road transport sector. The European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report in June 2018. After further debates and procedural developments, the Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council agreed a general approach in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four rounds of negotiations, Parliament and Council reached provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, subsequently approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and on 8 June the TRAN committee recommended Parliament approve it at second reading. The agreed text thus returns to plenary in July for a final vote at second reading. Its adoption would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Road transport: Driving, breaks, rest times and tachographs

07-07-2020

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the present proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation ...

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the present proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation between Member States and authorities. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report. After further debate and procedural developments, Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on the proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four negotiating rounds, the Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, which was approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and on 8 June the TRAN committee recommended approving it at second reading. The agreed text thus now returns to plenary for a vote at second reading in July. If adopted, this would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Road transport: Social and market rules

06-07-2020

Alongside the liberalisation of transport and the setting-up of the internal market in the transport sector, the EU established social and market measures. On 31 May 2017, to enhance these measures in the road haulage sector, the European Commission adopted a set of three legislative proposals on driving and rest times, posting of drivers, and access to the profession and cabotage, as part of the 'Europe on the Move' package. The European Parliament is expected to vote at second reading during the ...

Alongside the liberalisation of transport and the setting-up of the internal market in the transport sector, the EU established social and market measures. On 31 May 2017, to enhance these measures in the road haulage sector, the European Commission adopted a set of three legislative proposals on driving and rest times, posting of drivers, and access to the profession and cabotage, as part of the 'Europe on the Move' package. The European Parliament is expected to vote at second reading during the July plenary session on a set of texts agreed with the Council in trilogue. After three years of intense negotiations, their adoption would lead to improvements in road drivers' working and rest conditions, better enforcement of rules and ensure fairer competition between road operators.

European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS): An EU industrial programme to raise railway competitiveness

17-12-2019

In recent decades, the European Union has been promoting rail as one of the main pillars of its transport decarbonisation policy. This is likely to be even more the case with the European Green Deal and the ambitious emission reduction targets proposed recently by the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. However, in order to contribute effectively to the decarbonisation of transport, railways must offer a harmonious, efficient, fast and safe service. Whereas over time the ...

In recent decades, the European Union has been promoting rail as one of the main pillars of its transport decarbonisation policy. This is likely to be even more the case with the European Green Deal and the ambitious emission reduction targets proposed recently by the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. However, in order to contribute effectively to the decarbonisation of transport, railways must offer a harmonious, efficient, fast and safe service. Whereas over time the EU Member States had each developed their own railway signalling systems, the EU launched an industrial project to develop and deploy a single control, command and signalling system, known as the European rail traffic management system (ERTMS). The aim was to improve rail technical compatibility, efficiency and competitiveness. Since the late 1990s, the EU has been working on a regulatory framework, technical standards and ERTMS deployment plans. Given the scale of investment required, the EU has also allocated funding to the project through the Connecting Europe Facility and the EU structural and investments funds. ERTMS deployment is also supported by the active involvement of EU rail operators, infrastructure managers and the supply industry and the first commercial lines using ERTMS were opened in 2005. Although it offers benefits to both the rail sector and passengers, ERTMS still faces challenges, the greatest being low and patchy development, insufficient funding and coordination between Member States and slow migration from national legacy systems to ERTMS. Recent announcements of ERTMS full-scale deployment plans and commitments in Europe could be read as a sign that ERTMS is increasingly perceived as a top priority.

European Union Agency for Railways

29-10-2019

Established in 2004, and based in Valenciennes (France), the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) was set up to build a Single European Railway Area (SERA) and to make rail more effective and competitive. To contribute to these goals, ERA is tasked with enhancing technical compatibility and safety across EU rail systems. The EU's adoption of the technical component of the Fourth Railway Package in April 2016 has expanded ERA's powers, making the Agency a key player in rail security and interoperability ...

Established in 2004, and based in Valenciennes (France), the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) was set up to build a Single European Railway Area (SERA) and to make rail more effective and competitive. To contribute to these goals, ERA is tasked with enhancing technical compatibility and safety across EU rail systems. The EU's adoption of the technical component of the Fourth Railway Package in April 2016 has expanded ERA's powers, making the Agency a key player in rail security and interoperability.

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