Brussels vs. Netherlands on foreign student travel cards

Brussels vs. Netherlands on foreign student travel cards

21st June 2013, Comments 5 comments

The European Commission is taking the Netherlands to the EU's Court of Justice for discriminating against students from other EU countries by not giving them discount travel cards.

Dutch students can get a special travel card entitling them to free transport at either weekends or during the week.

In a statement on Thursday, the commission said that under EU treaties ‘wherever EU students choose to study... they have the same rights to benefits as local students, unless EU law expressly excludes a benefit'.

Equal treatment

By failing to apply this principle of equal treatment to other students ‘all other EU citizens studying in the country, including Erasmus students, are therefore discriminated against'.

The Dutch government is planning to phase out the student travel card in its present form.

A spokesman for the education ministry told the Telegraaf the Netherlands is confident about the outcome of the court case. The Netherlands argues that the student travel card is included in the exceptions to equal treatment rules, he said.


5 Comments To This Article

  • HTD posted:

    on 25th June 2013, 22:50:37 - Reply

    @Edward Titlement? "The entitlement generation...." Here again is a typical VVD stereotyping of any type of transfer payments that don't subsidize banks or asset holding individuals. Sure, not all such payments reach the pockets of the intended recipients, but cases of corruption can hardly be found only in the administration of government transfer payments. Supporting future professionals complete their educations can also be seen as an investment in future social capabilities that will benefit all. Removing such supports most likely would have just the opposite effect--leaving a shortage in fully trained personnel to staff our hospitals, schools, governments offices, and commercial firms, small, medium, or larger. So let's concentrate on how we need to invest in educating the current youth generation to ensure that when we can no longer care for ourselves, there will be a generation in their prime that sees us as the ones who invested their tax euros in providing for their training and not simply a sour and bitter generation that feels having been abandoned by us when they were trying to secure an education. [Edited by moderator]
  • Edward Titlement posted:

    on 25th June 2013, 16:58:51 - Reply

    The entitlement generation....
  • Rui Martins posted:

    on 25th June 2013, 13:50:45 - Reply

    I lived in the Netherlands 3 years. Discrimination against foreigners was normal and even accepted. I couldn't , and I believe that hasn't changed, get cable TV and internet in my house because I had no Dutch ID.
  • Lia posted:

    on 25th June 2013, 13:37:08 - Reply

    Well, non-EU students from Eastern Europe have higher study fees, have to pay more for visa processing by my university, than Turkish students, for example.. I can accept it, but travelling is a diffenet issue, especially if travelling for some studies with a class within The Netherlands. I believe, non-EU fees for studying here should include free or discount travelling...
  • HTD posted:

    on 21st June 2013, 13:26:03 - Reply

    Sure, Dutch taxpayers should not have to pay for Eastern European students studying in the Netherlands, when so few Dutch students study in these countries.
    However, English is increasingly becoming a job requirement for positions requiring a university degree in the EU. Therefore, it is in the European Union's interest to have non-Dutch, EU students to take university programs taught in English, wherever they are provided in the EU. So therefore, the EU should financially support these students taking such EU universities' English courses and programs and not allow discrimination against them as is now the case. Only non-Dutch students are required to work 32 hours a month as well. This type of discrimination should also be reviewed by the EU.