On June 3, 2015 the European Commission adopted interpretative guidelines clarifying the existing rules in the rail sector. Addressed specifically to the rail transport industry and to national authorities, the guidelines adopted seek to clarify and strengthen the application and enforcement of rail passenger rights in the European Union. In particular, an assessment by the Commission of the implementation of the Regulation and of the relevant case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) pointed at a need to clarify some points related to information; delays, cancellations and missed connections; rights of persons with disabilities or reduced mobility; complaint handling, enforcement and cooperation between national authorities.
“Transport is not about infrastructure, tracks, trains or trucks, it is about people: workers and passengers. (…) The EU became the first area in the world where passengers have guaranteed rights across all forms of transport. Which is why I cannot accept that a lack of enforcement jeopardises this achievement. I therefore call on all Member States to ensure that EU legislation is correctly applied. The rail guidelines adopted today will provide some assistance. I also hope that the discussions in the Council on a new Regulation in the air sector can move forward, for the benefit of EU citizens,” EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said.
In addition to the Commission’s on-going information campaign to raise citizens’ awareness on passengers’ rights, the Commission services will also launch an impact assessment in order to examine options to further improve rail passenger rights in the EU. The Commission will also look into options for a legal framework for passenger rights when using different modes of transport for a single journey.