Provisions on information, assistance and compensation to passengers travelling by ship in the event that trips are cancelled or delayed. These are some of the issues in the proposal for a regulation that is to be discussed by EU ministers for transport on 9 October in Luxembourg. The future EU transport policy is another important issue on the Council agenda. Swedish Minister for Communications Åsa Torstensson will be chairing the meeting.
Agreement on passenger rights in sight
The ministers are to agree on a proposal on the rights of ship passengers. The proposal contains provisions on information, assistance and compensation to passengers in the event that trips are cancelled or delayed. It also focuses particularly on the rights of passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility to information and assistance during journeys by sea and inland waterway. The proposal is part of the European work on improving passenger rights within the entire transport sector. Similar rules have previously been adopted in the areas of aviation and rail travel.
EU transport policy beyond 2010
"A Sustainable Future for Transport: – Towards an integrated, technology-led and user friendly system". This is the title of a communication from the Commission issued on 17 June 2009, which the ministers are to discuss at the meeting. The communication initially summarises the development of EU transport policy between 2000 and 2010. It then goes on to review factors affecting the transport sector, such as ageing populations, migration and challenges relating to the environment. The communication then moves on to overarching objectives for a future transport policy and proposals of how the objectives can be realised. The ministers’ discussion is part of the work to draw up the EU’s future transport policy. In 2010, the Commission plans to publish a white paper on the future EU transport policy.
Transport Community between the EU and the Western Balkans
The Council is expected to reach a decision on a complementary negotiation directive on road transport ahead of the negotiations on a Transport Community between the EU and the countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM, Montenegro and Serbia as well as Kosovo) The directive aims at creating an integrated market for infrastructure and land transport, inland waterways and sea transport. The aim is also to align the countries’ legislation in this area with EU legislation.
Simpler for ships travelling between EU ports
On the agenda is also a report on a proposal for a directive aiming at simplifying documentation checks for ships and goods travelling between EU ports.
Liquids in hand baggage: What happens to the rules after 2010?
The current rules on restrictions on liquids in hand baggage during flights will cease to apply in April 2010. The Commission will inform the Council about how to progress on the issue. For the rules to continue to apply after April 2010, a new decision by the Council and the Parliament is required.