“We are in a movie and its end is still unpredictable.” This is how MEP Peter Kouroumbashev summarised the current stage of the political discussions at the event on “Buses & Coaches in the Mobility Packages” organised by IRU in the European Parliament last week.
MEP Merja Kyllönen, rapporteur on the posting file, MEP Ines Ayala Sender, shadow rapporteur on the posting file and MEP Wim Van De Camp, rapporteur on the driving and rest time rules file, shared the progress of the negotiations on Mobility Package 1. The debate, hosted by MEPs Peter Kouroumbashev (S&D) and Roberts Zile (ECR), emphasised the importance of passenger transport in the midst of a turmoil where road freight calls for massive attention while the importance of passenger transport should not be forgotten.
Michael Nielsen (Danske Busvognmænd) and Raluca Marian (IRU) shared the clear expectations of bus and coach operators regarding enforcement provisions for non-posting situations, clearer exemptions from the posting rules and derogations from the driving and rest time rules for coach tourism operations.
The second panel of the event debated the critical questions of liberalisation and public service obligations in the bus and coach market. MEP Zile, rapporteur on the market access file, MEP Kouroumbashev, shadow rapporteur, Jocelyn Fajardo, deputy head of cabinet of the Commissioner for Transport and Anja Ludwig from BDO discussed the interplay between routes subject to public service obligations and commercial alternatives, as well as access to terminals.
The two panels attracted representatives of transport operators and governments from a large number of EU Member States.