Netherlands alleged student fares discrimination

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The Netherlands will have to face the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) as ordered by the European Commission.

Based on the European Commission's findings, the country's fare policies limit discount benefits on public transportation to Dutch students, which seems inequitable to students from other EU countries.


According to news site Europa, the EU Treaty states that an EU student studying in any country in the EU will have equal rights to benefits as local students, except for EU law exclusions like maintenance aid. Likewise, Article 18 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU forbids discrimination on basis of nationality within the scope of the Treaties, also with a few exceptions.

The European Commission believes the country fell short with regards to the principle of equal treatment.  They offer discounted fares on trains and buses only to local students and long-term residents of the country.

In 2010 and 2012, officials in the Netherlands have received two supposed 'reasoned opinions' from the Commission to tell them that their fares policy violates the EU law. The country’s failure to follow the Commission’s guidance has brought the issue to the Court of Justice.