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04.01.2016

EACT Meetings in Brussels

Brussels is an important stage for RDA and EACT (European Alliance for Coach Tourism) when it comes to representing and implementing coach and group tourism interests. On 1st December 2015 an EACT delegation attended several meetings with members of the EU Commission and European Parliament. The delegation included Mr. Stephen Smith, Chairman EACT, CPT (UK), Mr. Dieter Gauf, General Secretary EACT and RDA CEO, Mr. Paul White, CPT (UK), Mr. Kjell Peterson, Swedish National Coach Organisation SB, Mr. Nick Greenfield, ETOA (UK) and Ms. Sandra van de Walle, EACT and RDA EU Representative.

The high-powered EACT delegation met with Mr. Andras Mogyoro, the EU official responsible for passenger rights in the EU Commission MOVE Directorate-General. Mr. Mogyoro explained that the EU Commission would publish its report on the implementation of EU regulation 181/2011 in 2016. He asked the EACT delegates to share with him by March 2016 their experience of the introduction of new passenger rights in the coach tourism sector. The EACT delegates pointed out that this was a particularly important subject in relation to persons of limited or impaired mobility. The delegates were also informed that a meeting involving the EU Commission, EU Member States and branch representatives to discuss issues such as infrastructure investment for coach tourism is planned for May 2016. EACT is invited to attend and to contribute.

A meeting with Mr. Ray Malanaphy and Mr. Frederik Rasmussen, EU Commission MOVE Directorate-General, focussed upon the “12-day rule” for coach drivers’ hours as it applies to cross-border traffic. Mr. Malanaphy, Policy Officer MOVE, reported on new research to be published in March 2016 which will provide a comprehensive overview of the European coach travel sector.  A further meeting was held with MEP Mr. Georges Bach, member of the EU Parliament Transport Committee and his assistant, Ms. Jennifer Jenkins. Mr. Bach provided an overview of current and future Transport Committee projects of relevance to the coach tourism sector such as the European Year of World Cultural Heritage in 2018.

EACT criticised divergent VAT rates for different modes of transport and bureaucratic excesses related to the implementation of the “12-day rule” in EU Member States - which tends to discriminate in favour of national suppliers. Lack of EU Member State investment in infrastructure for coach and group tourism was also discussed. The meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere and Mr. Bach showed himself open to EACT arguments. Regular working meetings and consultations in Strasbourg and in Brussels are part of EACT and RDA political advocacy on behalf of our members and of our industry.

Further information: http://www.eact.travel, www.rda.de

Contact

Annette Heinemann
Phone: +49 2244 90 33 33
Facsimile: +49 2244 87 74 22
E-mail: presse@rda.de

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