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            october 16, 2019

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First Railway Package must be properly implemented


The European Commission sent ‘Reasoned Opinions’ to 21 member states, regarding an
incomplete implementation of the First Railway Package. The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) hopes that the procedures will help to ensure an effective regulatory framework which is needed for an efficient and competitive European railway system.
But CER also reminds the Commission that it has to ensure that member states meet their
financial obligations from the legislation.
“It is not sufficient to look into the formal organisational aspects of the First Railway Package alone,”
says Johannes Ludewig, CER Executive Director. “The Commission should also tackle more substantial
questions which are currently left out of the infringement procedures. It has to ensure that member
states meet their financial obligations as laid down in the legislation,” he emphasises.
According to directive 2001/14, governments have to adequately invest in rail infrastructure and
compensate railways for public service obligations. This is often not sufficiently done. As a guardian of
the treaty, the Commission should put more pressure on the member states to eliminate these
essential shortcomings. “Recent developments in Central and Eastern European countries like Poland
and Romania show the crucial importance of these issues for the railways,” Ludewig says.
‘Reasoned Opinions’ were sent to Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia,
Greece, Spain, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Sweden, Slovenia and Slovakia. They come as a follow-up to ‘Letters of Formal Notice’,
which the European Commission sent to 24 member states in June 2008.
With the reasoned opinions, the Commission highlights issues such as:
· the lack of independence of the infrastructure manager in relation to railway operators
· insufficient implementation of the provisions of the directive on track access charging, such
as the absence of a performance regime to improve the performance of the railway network,
the lack of incentives for the infrastructure manager to reduce costs and charges and of tariff
systems based on the direct costs of rail services
· the failure to set up an independent regulatory body with the necessary powers to remedy
competition problems in the railway sector

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