Collective Commentary about the New Package Travel Directive

416 COLLECTIVE COMMENTARY ABOUT THE NEW PACKAGE TRAVEL DIRECTIVE B) A complex assessment of certain requirements Point 4 of article 18 of the Presidential Decree provides that Member States may ask for “clarifications” in case of doubt about an organiser. But what are these clarifications? Could this point hinder the management of the different organisations? If the will to protect the traveller is understandable, we must also ask the question of the unintentional interference of the authorities. The Council of State also recalled in a judgment of January 2015 7 this principle of non- -interference in the management of a company. It seems that limits have to be further defined in order to reconcile these different principles. Similarly, travel organisers must comply with the requirements “in force at national level”. However, each Member State has its own requirements for tourism and it appears inappropriate to create a common inventory for all Member States, if the requirements are disparate. Some Member States could be favored over others, something that would result in disparities between the States. The Directive sets common objectives to be achieved, but the Member States remain free to transpose it even if – it must be said here – the very high technicality of this European text allows little margin of interpretation to the Member States. Moreover, if the insolvency protection of one of the organisers of a Member State is in doubt, the latter shall respond to requests. Nevertheless, the answer to be given is not specified and it could therefore be content with a vague explanation, without really contributing to a sufficient justification. In particular, there is no penalty for the noncompliance with this principle. Also, the European Guarantee Funds’ Association for Travel and Tourism (EFGATT) had already denounced the difficult understanding of this “answer”, with the case of the online tour operator “Low Cost Holidays”. The Secretary General had explained to TourMag magazine that “the British government had asked Spain for explanations about ‘Low Cost Holidays’ and the Iberian government answered that in Spain, tourism is a regional competence”. This insufficiency in the assessment of the terms of the reply leads some Member States to avoid the obligations arising from this article. It will be necessary to observe how this text is implemented and how the Member States cooperate in putting it into practice. 7 Council of State SAS Rottapharm January 23, 2015, n o 369214.