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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 24 October 2012

Rail transport: Commission refers Poland to the Court of Justice over railway interoperability

The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the European Court of Justice for failure to notify national measures transposing Directive 2011/18/EU on railway interoperability. The deadline for implementation was 31 December 2011.

Directive 2011/18/EU amends Directives 2008/57/EC on interoperability, introducing modifications to the description of the rail systems and specifies the procedures of their verification.

The Commission had already requested Poland to take action to ensure compliance with Directive 2011/18/EU. Based on its reply of July 2012, the Commission concluded that Poland has not taken the necessary measures it was required to implement and has failed to notify the Commission of any such measures.

The European Union's legislation on railway interoperability aims at improving the competitiveness of the rail sector, for instance by allowing easier exchanges of rail equipment all over Europe. It does this through a regulatory framework for the technical harmonisation of Europe’s railways and the removal of technical and administrative barriers, e.g. by providing common authorisation processes for putting railway assets into service.

Failure to implement the directive would hinder the free movement of rail components and equipment on the EU market, since the national bodies designated to carry out verification procedures do not apply the same legal framework.

More information

Current figures on infringements in general can be found at:

On the October infringement package decisions, see MEMO/12/794.

On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12.

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

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