On 18 January 2007, European Parliament EP adopted in second reading the reports on the proposals of the Third Railway Package and made amendments, after adoption on 18 December 2006 by EP Transport and Tourism Committee of the recommendations in the draft report.
The Third Railway Package, presented in march 2004, proposes to:
– Open up rail passenger services to competition within the European Union,
– Improve the rights of passengers using international services,
– Establish a certification system for locomotive drivers,
– Step up the quality of freight services.
Of the 3 reports presented on 18 January :
– Members of the European Parliament MEP supported the opening up of international passenger services to competition by 2010, however no date was set for liberalizing national rail services although a large number of MEP are in favour, contrary to the Parliament’s Transport andTourism Committee.
– MEP adopted the passengers rights, recommending more information and more accessibility including assistance to people with reduce mobility, and supported the proposition of compensation for delayed travellers.
– MEP made recommendation to increase safety requirements, they want all train crew to have safety certification not only the drivers as proposed.
A month after on 22 February 2007, European Commission EC adopted a proposal on EP amendments, mainly:
– EC refuses the liberalization in 2017 of domestic lines
– EC refuses the binding obligation of accessibility to people with reduce mobility of all stations and trains as well as the payments of fees for wheel chairs or baby carriages.
– EC agrees the extension to all crew of the safety certification.
Next step is the vote in second lecture by the Council of EU. Depending on the position of the Council about liberalization of domestic lines the procedure of conciliation may take place.