Friday, March 31, 2006

New standard signalling for trains

The Commission has adopted Technical Specifications for Interoperability for control/command and signalling on the conventional trans-European railway network. At the moment, more than twenty different signalling and speed control systems are used in Europe, which means that most international passenger and goods trains still have to stop at the border station to change locomotive. The adopted Decision will allow these incompatible systems to be gradually replaced by a single system known by its abbreviation ERTMS (press release IP/06/404 of European Comission, see here.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Aviation blacklist published

The EU Commission's Aviation Blacklist has been published in the Official Journal 24 March 2006 (see The publication of the list will allow passengers to make informed choices even when they travel outside the EU, in countries where these flight bans do not apply. The preparation and finalisation of the list is the result of successful co-operation between the Commission, the Member States and the European Parliament. The Commission and the “Air Safety” Committee will continue to monitor airlines and national civil aviation authorities to ensure their adherence to internationally-agreed air safety standards. It will continue to address new threats to European air safety by updating the list when necessary, as well as recognise the progress made by airlines on the list, in order to ensure their removal once their safety deficiencies have been rectified.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"European sky protected against unsafe airlines"

As stated by the EU Press Room, "The European Commission has today adopted the first EU list of airlines which are banned in the European Union. This black list of unsafe airlines will now be published on the Commission’s website. The black list has been compiled on the basis of national contributions and after an in-depth analysis with Member State experts. The list consists of 92 companies which face a complete ban and 3 companies which face operational restrictions. From now on the principle will apply that companies banned in one Member State are banned in the whole EU."

This Press Release is available in full text.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Commission tables new strategy to boost tourism in EU

The main elements of the new policy:
  1. More policy-coordination: to make sure that policy initiatives affecting tourism do not hamper the competitiveness of the sector. Member States and tourism stakeholders will be regularly consulted, as for example, on the forthcoming Green Paper on Maritime Affairs covering coastal and marine tourism.
  2. Improved use of available European financial instruments: Tourism will continue to benefit greatly from the financial support offered by the various European financial instruments .
  3. “A European Agenda 21 for Tourism” to promote tourism sustainability: The Commission will present a proposal for an Agenda 21 , by 2007, based on input from the Tourism Sustainability Group, composed of the tourism stakeholders.
  4. Better regulation: Tourism-related legislation will be part of the Better Regulation process (see Memo 05/340).
  5. Enhancing the understanding of the importance of tourism by providing all decision-makers with high quality data.
  6. Better promotion of European destinations: Globalisation has opened up new opportunities to attract tourists from new markets (such as China, Russia and India) able to afford high value vacations.
  7. Improving the visibility of tourism: The Commission will continue to work in close partnership with all involved actors to promote the visibility of this important industry through events organised by the EU Presidencies and the Annual European Tourism Forum.
Press release IP/06/344 of 2006-03-21; see it here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

No subsequent review of decisions contrary to Community Law

In judgement C-234/04 of 16th March 2006 European Court of Justice ruled that a national court does not have an obligation under EC law to re-open and set aside a judicial decision which has become final, even if that decsision turns out to be contrary to Community Law.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Northumbria University - Sixth International Travel and Tourism: Policy, Law and Management Conference

Copthorne Hotel, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, England 17th - 19th May 2006

The Travel Industry has had a turbulent year, coping with not only the Tsunami disaster, but also what seemed to be a never ending hurricane season in Florida, the Carribean and Mexico. While all this was happening, the legislators, the regulators, the lawyers and the courts have all been busy. The ATOL scheme - the cornerstone of consumer protection in the industry, is about to undergo a radical review. The High Court has pronounced on the fundamental issue of 'What is a package?'. The EU and the US Supreme Court have had important things to say about disability discrimination in the travel industry, and the EU has brought forth more controversial legislation in the form of the new Denied Boarding, Delay and Cancellation Regulation.
All these topics are of vital importance to the travel industry, to policy makers and to travel lawyers and will be discussed at length in this, the sixth conference in this series hosted jointly by Northumbria University and Nova Southeastern University.
As usual, our prestigious panel of international speakers has been given time to debate the topics at length. The purpose is to provide delegates not only with an in-depth approach to the issues but also for them to be able to enter into a dialogue with speakers.
Additionally, the social programme, the lunches and the conference dinner will give delegates the chance to converse with each other and mingle with the speakers in a more relaxed environment.

Please download the conference brochure, which gives further details on the programme, social events and also a booking form.
To find out more about what the region has to offer in terms of accommodation, events and tourist attractions, please visit the Northumbria Tourist Board's website.