Dáil Éireann - Volume 633 - 20 March, 2007
Written Answers. - EU Directives.
Mr. Eamon Ryan Mr. Eamon Ryan
Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Transport the grounds on which Ireland opposed the EU directive on manning conditions for regular passenger and ferry services operating between member states (details supplied). [10465/07]
Mr. Gallagher Mr. Gallagher
Mr. Gallagher: There is no EU Directive on the manning of regular passenger and ferry services operating between member states, in force or being considered by member states. If the Commission were to initiate a proposal it would be given careful consideration.
In 1998 there was an EU Commission proposal: Commission communication on a common policy on manning of regular passenger and ferry services operating in and between Member States (COM/98/0251). A key provision of the Commission’s draft Directive was its Article 2.2: ‘If the vessel used is not registered in a Member State, the terms and conditions referred to shall be those applicable to the residents of one of the Member States between whose ports the service is provided and with which the service has the closest connection. The closest connection shall be determined on the basis of the place from which the service is effectively managed.’
The European Parliament approved the proposal in March 1999. The Commission issued a revised proposal in 2000 (COM/2000/0437). However, no final agreement was reached in the Council of Ministers in the matter, and the Commission formally withdrew the proposal in August 2004. At the time the proposal was being considered, Ireland was concerned about the economics of providing ferry services for peripheral Community regions, particularly at off-peak seasons. We were also concerned that the Commission’s proposals excluded non-ferry vessels in direct competition with ferries, since freight traffic is now of more importance for jumbo ferry  operations than the transport of passengers and their cars.
To facilitate consideration of the matter, Ireland was in favour of a study being undertaken to determine the implications of the proposals for peripheral Community regions.
Dáil Éireann 633 Written Answers. EU Directives.