Committees of the European Parliament are rushing to complete the process of amending the revised Package Travel Directive, published last July, before European elections in May.
MEPs hope to take amendments to the European Parliament for a vote before a cessation in April, according to Kevin Davis of the consumer and competition policy directorate at the UK’s Department for Business (BIS).
The directive is currently being pored over by two committees of MEPs: the Internal Market and the Transport Committees.
However, Davis described progress through the Council of Ministers, which is also examining the proposed directive, as “pretty slow”.
Davis told industry figures at the TravLaw Big Tent Event in London on Tuesday night: “We’ve had four meetings and read as far as Article 12 of the directive – about half way through.”
He said: “The European Parliament is desperately trying to reach agreement before the European elections. It’s pressing ahead very quickly to present amendments.”
But he added: “The elections in May will be followed by [formation of] a new commission around October. My feeling is things will have ground to a halt.
“By the time there is a new Parliament everyone will have disappeared for the summer. I would be surprised if there is agreement reached by the end of the year.”
Davis noted: “If Parliament gets to vote [on MEPs’ amendments] that position will be carried forward. If it does not, the new parliament will pick it up from the start [of the process].
A reformed Package Travel Directive is not expected to be incorporated into UK regulations until 2017 at the earliest.
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