Safety of Services
Following the publication of the Commission Work Programme for 2013
and the subsequent publication of its list of initiatives for 2013
, the Commission is expected to release a Green paper on Safety of service by July 2013. The Green Paper will focus on the safety of services including the tourism sector. Amusement parks, paid-for accommodation (e.g. hotels, camping, etc.), organised outdoor activities and swimming pools will be addressed
This Green Paper will be non-legislative and will seek the views of stakeholders on possible future measures to address safety in services.
The European Commission is considering publishing a green paper on service safety in 2012. No decisions have been taken yet as to which services could be covered by any future legislation, but tourist accommodation is one that is being looked at seriously.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has been particularly active recently in its efforts to promote European rules for accommodation safety. At present, member states are responsible for devising their own national requirements. The only European measure is a set of guidelines (a 'recommendation') dating from 1986. Citing incidents in accommodation used by package travellers, ABTA say that new European legislation is needed to ensure travellers' safety.
This debate is still at a very early stage and is one that will have to be watched very closely for any developments affecting IAAPA members. It could, however, last a year or two. Green papers are exploratory consultation papers. The next stage in the legislative process is usually a 'white paper' setting out policy proposals.