Carthy slams European Commission power grab on bus & coach services
Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has submitted amendments to the European Commission’s proposal on common access to the international market for coach and bus services.
The report which lays down the rules applicable to access to the international markets would create a monopoly for private bus companies, including forcing the liberalisation of the domestic bus markets within Member States.
Speaking following the submission of his amendments, MEP Carthy said:
“What we have repeatedly seen in transport services from the European Commission are proposals aimed at removing power from Member States and providing the commission with unnecessary oversight competencies.
“This latest report calls for bus terminals to be open to foreign private companies and for national governments to be prevented from regulating the use of their bus terminals. Member States are asked to appoint an independent regulatory body to ensure completion of this unrealistic demand.
“Member States would also be required to inform the European Commission annually regarding the number of authorisations granted. This is not a competency that needs to be set at EU level. It is part of an agenda aimed at promoting private provision of services regardless of the evidence that shows that some public transport services are better provided through a public-ownership model.
“Ireland desperately needs investment in public transport; it must be available to all, sometimes that means that routes will not be profitable. I have submitted amendments seeking to limit the involvement of the European Commission in determining how public transport services are provided; to ensure that public transport is accessible to people with disabilities: to maintain working conditions for transport staff; and to prioritise the public interest against private profit considerations.
“Lack of investment in public transport has led to rural areas falling far behind with many communities without a single bus service. Additional privatisation and outsourcing is not the answer.
“In the European Parliament, Sinn Fein MEPs will oppose the European Commission’s liberalisation agenda which has already undermined the provision of public services. Ireland must be given the flexibility to invest in services that benefit both citizens and workers.”