Brussels, 3 July 2012
Transport: Vice President Kallas welcomes European Parliament final agreement on new rules to open competition in the rail market
New EU rules to allow more competition on the rail market look set to come into force by the end of this year, following a final vote of approval in the European Parliament today. The new rules (Rail Recast Directive) tackle 3 major problems on the market: (1) strengthening the power of national regulators; (2) improving the framework for investment in rail (3) ensuring fair access to rail infrastructure and rail related services. They are a direct response to many complaints from operators in recent years.
"These new rules will very significantly change the way competition works on the rail market. This is a very substantial step forwards. At last we can close loopholes in the current laws that can allow discrimination against newcomers and block operators from providing new and innovative services."
"The high level of ambition of the European Parliament, is particularly encouraging as we look to the next package of measures to develop services on the rail market that the Commission will propose by the end of the year."
The main elements of the Rail Recast Directive are set out in detail in the attached MEMO/12/520. However, as a result of the negotiating process, the final compromise text also includes certain new and important provisions, which go further in terms of improving the functioning on the rail market. These include:
1) In relation to regulatory oversight,
2) In relation to infrastructure financing and charging,
3) In relation to market access conditions:
What happens next?
The compromise text needs formal approval by Member States, but the political way is now clear for a second reading final agreement. That would allow the new legislation to come into force by the end of 2012 and its full implementation by early 2015 after transposition in national law.