The European Council and the European Parliament have paved the way for the adoption of the draft directive establishing a single European railway area, by successfully concluding the tripartite negotiations between the Danish presidency, the European Parliament and the European Commission on a compromise text.
On Tuesday, the compromise was endorsed by the member states within the Permanent Representatives Committee. To enter into force, the text still needs to be formally approved by Parliament, which is scheduled to vote in its plenary session early July, and by the Council after the vote in Parliament.
The independence requirements for the regulatory bodies have been strengthened, and regulatory supervision has also been reinforced.
The deadline for transposing the directive into national law has been set at 30 months after its entry into force.
The draft directive is a recast of the three directives of the "first railway package" on the development of European railways, licensing of railway undertakings and management of railway infrastructure.
The purpose of the recast is to simplify, clarify and modernize the regulatory framework for Europe's railway sector so as to increase competition, strengthen market supervision and improve conditions for investment in the sector. To recast merges the three directives, together with the amendments made to them over time, into a single text, and makes a number of other changes.
Competition between railway undertakings will be enhanced by making rail market
access conditions more transparent and improving access for operators to rail-related services such as railway stations, freight terminals and maintenance facilities.
The independence of national regulatory bodies and their powers, for instance to
impose sanctions or audits, will be strengthened. Cooperation between regulators on
cross-border issues will also be enhanced. This will help eliminate discriminatory obstacles to access to rail services and ensure the proper functioning of the rail services market.
Financing of rail infrastructure will be improved by longer-term planning, offering more certainty to investors, and by adapting charging rules so as to give incentives to modernize infrastructure, including the reduction of noise emissions.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com