Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Freedom of Tourism and Travel Services

Austria’s Administrative Court recently came up with a principle decision regarding freedom to provide services of couriers, escorting travel groups from other EU-countries. Administrative Court held, that such couriers are free to show and explain any national sights to their group, with the only reservation made in regard to museums or historical monuments, which require a specific knowledge of the guide, exceeding the proof of qualification required for tourist guides in general (VwGH 04 Sept.2002, 2000/04/0066)

John Downes's picture

EU Commission Approves Passenger Vessel Subsidy

The Commission has approved a Finnish scheme providing a subsidy to passenger vessels. This permits a 97% reduction of withholding tax on the marine work income of European seafarers working on board Finnish passenger vessels. This allows Finland to align with similar measure in neighbouring countries.

John Downes's picture

UK Scheme to aid Airlines

The EU Commission has approved an UK Scheme which compensates airlines for the costs incurred 11-15th September after the attacks in New York and Washington. Those are for costs occured as a result of flights cancelled or delayed by national authorities. The scheme applies to all UK airlines and is expected to cost £45m ($72m). A similar French scheme was approved in January.
John Downes's picture

Airline Trade War

Loyola de Palacio, the EU Transport Commissioner, has put forward proposals to the Commission to hit state-aided airlines flying into the EU with penalties, including duties and landing right restrictions. Although it is stressed that this is not aimed at a particular country, it is viewed by some observers as retaliation against the USA, which provided $15bn in aid to carriers following September 11th. There have been complaints by EU airlines that this has been used as a means of unfair competition.

John Downes's picture

Bathing Water Directive

The Bathing Water Directive 1976 is to be reviewed. A key aim is to improve information available to the public. It will also bring in more robust standards. the new proposal is expected to be published in June or July 2001.

John Downes's picture

Airlines Price Fixing to be Reviewed

The Commission issued a consultation paper on 8 February 2001 indicating that it intends to review the block exemption from EU Competition Rules given to airlines.This would affect the "passenger tariff conferences" held by IATA to deal with interlining agreements. The exemption will continue until June 2002 when the new policy should be announced.
John Downes's picture

IATA: Deep Vein Thrombosis and Air Travel

IATA Director General, Pierre J Jeanniot, stated in letters to the Vice President of the European Commissioner and Commissioner for Transport, Mme Loyola de Palacio and US Secretary of Transport, Mr Norman Mineta, "At the present time, there is no conclusive medical evidence supporting the alleged connection of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) with long distance travel. Nonetheless, a number of further studies are underway and IATA Members are very much aware of the need to minimise any potential risks". IATA is organising a worldwide conference on cabin health in Geneva 17-18 May 2001.

John Downes's picture

Internal Market for Transport Services

The EU Lisbon Summit on 23-24 March set as one of its objectives the setting of a strategy for removing barriers to the provision of transport services and further liberalization in the sector.

John Downes's picture

Launch of New EU Website on E-Commerce

The EC Commission has launched a new interactive website so that the public can track latest developments in the EU's eEurope initiative and to encourage debate on e-commerce and access to the Internet. An on-line forum is also being planned to promote ADR in business and consumer disputes involving e-commerce.

John Downes's picture

Working Time Directive Extended to Transport Workers

Agreement has been reached to extend the Working Time Directive to a further 5 million workers in the EU. The decision was taken on April 3 and will now cover rail workers and those involved in air, road and inland waterway transport. They will have a right to rest periods, a limit on working hours per week and a minimum of 4 weeks' annual leave.