Proposal for a Regulation on rail passengers’ rights and obligations

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2017) 548
Publication Date 27/09/2017
Content Type


Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 27 September 2017, which aims to update the framework on rights and obligations for rail passengers.

Further information:

Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 established rights and obligations for rail passengers in order to protect them particularly when travel is disrupted, and to improve the efficiency and attractiveness of rail passenger services. It built on an existing system of international law - the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail -  and extends its scope to domestic rail passenger services.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in 2013 that the Regulation's Article 17 did not allow for railway undertakings to be exempted from compensating passengers for delays cause by force majeure, which distinguishes rail from other transport modes. In the same year, a report on the application of the Regulation highlighted certain problematic areas, which were later confirmed by an impact assessment in 2016-17. The legislative proposal aims to address these shortcomings and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection.

The European Parliament's relevant committee adopted a negotiating position on 9 October 2018, which was endorsed by the plenary on 15 November. The Council of the European Union adopted its general approach on 2 December 2019. Negotiations between co-legislators were launched in January 2020, and an informal agreement on a compromise text was reached on 1 October.

Source Link
Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: At a Glance, November 2018: Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU
EUObserver: Opinion, 18/09/2019: How EU trains discriminate against the disabled
Eversheds Sutherland: Articles, 22/01/2020: Progress towards recast Regulations to strengthen rail passengers' rights
BEUC: Press Release, 01/10/2020: Reform of rail passenger rights - EU policymakers fail to meet passenger expectations
EPRS: Briefing, November 2020: Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

Global Railway Review, 29/11/2019: EU member states to vote on passenger rights and obligations text
Politico, 01/10/2020: EU strikes deal on rail passenger rights reform
Railway Gazette, 02/10/2020: Passenger groups raise concerns about EU passenger rights recast
EurActiv, 02/10/2020: Railway rights reform falls flat

EUR-Lex: SWD(2017)317: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive summary of the impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2017)318: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact assessment Your Europe: Rail passenger rights
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Rail passengers’ rights and obligations (recast)
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Recast of the Regulation on rail passengers' rights and obligations
European Commission: Press Release, 28/09/2017: Commission modernises European rail passenger rights
EPRS: Briefing, January 2018: Rail passengers' rights and obligations - Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment
EPP Group: Newsroom, 01/10/2020: Deal on rail passenger rights: make train travel more attractive
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 21/10/2020: Improved rail passenger rights: Council approves the informal deal

Subject Categories ,
Subject Tags ,
International Organisations