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17. 7.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 223/53

trans-European transport network (2). Such routes in Hertfordshire include the West coast main line (WCML)
railway. The upgrading of the WCML to a high speed train link is a priority project for developing under the
TENs framework. It was allocated 8.6 MECU in 1995, 7.2 MECU in 1996, and 7.4 MECU in 1997. No other
projects in Hertfordshire have been put forward for TENs support.

(1) OJ L 228, 23.9.1995.

(2) OJ L 228, 9.9.1996.

(98/C 223/64) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4098/97

by Patrick Cox (ELDR) to the Commission
(16 January 1998)
Subject: Age discrimination practised by airlines

It is the practice of many transport companies to charge lower fares to full-time students. This does not apply in
some instances to mature students above a certain age.

Does the Commission accept the practice of price discrimination based on age, and what action, If any, is open to
the Commission in respect of such cases?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(27 February 1998)
Further to the liberalisation of air transport within the Community in 1993, air carriers are free to set fares
according to their own commercial strategy and market conditions. In order to maximise revenue, most airlines
tend to offer a number of different products in accordance with specific patterns of demand. On this basis, many
airlines have attractive fares for certain categories of passengers such as infants, senior citizens, military
personnel and students. These fares are dependent on a number of specific criteria which may include age
limitations. Such a condition does not amount to unlawful discrimination which would contravene the provisions
of the EC Treaty. In this context, the only mechanisms at Community level governing the level of fares are the
application of competition law and the provisions set out in Council Regulation (EEC) No 2409/92 of 23 July
1992 on fares and rates for air services (1).

(1) OJ L 240, 24.8.1992.

(98/C 223/65) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4102/97

by Carlos Robles Piquer (PPE) to the Commission
(16 January 1998)

Subject: Preparation for the EU-Latin America Summit

The Council has welcomed the initiative by the Spanish Prime Minister, Mr José Marı́a Aznar, who has proposed
that a meeting should be held at the EU-Latin America Summit between the heads of state and government of the
EU countries and those of the Latin American countries. The Council has also announced that the Summit will
take place in the first half of 1999, when Germany holds the EU presidency.

Has the Commission begun its preparations for such an important meeting? Has it perhaps set up a unit with
responsibility for the meeting? Moreover, has it received any proposal from a country on one or other side of the
Atlantic, offering to host the Summit?

Answer given by Mr Marı́n on behalf of the Commission

(5 February 1998)
The Commission thanks the Honourable Member for his interest in this matter. Preparations for the Summit of
European, Latin American and Caribbean Heads of State and/or Government are one of the Commission’s
political priorities for 1998/99.