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European Commission - Press release

Commission requests Germany, France, Poland and Portugal to transpose EU rules on harmonized rail systems

Brussels, 31 May 2012 - The European Commission has today sent reasoned opinions to Germany, France, Poland and Portugal because of their failure to adopt national rules transposing the railway interoperability directive into national law. The deadline to adopt these measures was 31 December 2011. Failure to comply with the Commission's reasoned opinions may trigger a referral to Court.

The EU rules

Directive 2011/18/EU amends previous directives on interoperability introducing certain adjustments to the description of the rail systems and specifies the procedures of their verification.

The practical effect of non-implementation

Interoperability is a European initiative designed to improve the competitive position of the rail sector so that it can compete more effectively with other forms of transport. It does this through a regulatory framework that encourages the technical harmonisation and standardisation of Europe’s railways, and by providing common authorisation processes for putting railway assets into service.

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

More information on infringement procedures: MEMO/12/387

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

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