Proposal for a DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL empowering Germany to amend its existing bilateral road transport agreement with Switzerland with a view to authorising cabotage operations in the course of international road passenger transport services by coach and bus in the border regions between the two countries
1. The two proposed Council Decisions would authorise Germany and Italy to negotiate and conclude bilateral agreements with Switzerland to allow cross-border bus and coach cabotage operations in the border regions between Germany and Switzerland and Italy and Switzerland respectively. Cabotage is the transport of passengers between two places in the same country by a transport operator from another country. In the case of Italy, the authorisation relates to a new agreement. In the case of Germany, the authorisation relates to amending an existing bilateral agreement.
2. Both Germany and Italy share border regions with Switzerland that are closely integrated, with many Germans and Italians commuting to Switzerland for work and vice versa. There is significant cross-border traffic between Germany and Switzerland and Italy and Switzerland respectively by road, with a number of bus and coach services being offered which cross the border. Where passengers use, for example, a bus service operated by a Swiss carrier to travel between two stops on German territory, that counts as cabotage.
3. The carriage of passengers and goods by road between Switzerland and EU Member States is currently regulated by the Land Transport Agreement between the EU and Switzerland. As a result of this Agreement, bus and coach operators running passenger services which cross borders between EU Member States and Switzerland may only carry passengers across the border or within the territory of the Contracting Party they are established in. It is not permitted for an operator established in the EU to carry passengers between two points on the Swiss side of the German and Italian borders, similarly it is not permitted for Swiss operators to carry passengers between two points on the German or Italian side. France is the only Member State that currently has an agreement with Switzerland which allows cabotage in road passenger transport by coach and bus.