EC CALLS ON MEMBER STATES TO IMPLEMENT AND APPLY EU RULES ON THE SINGLE EUROPEAN RAILWAY AREA
On 2 December, the European Commission decided to send reasoned opinions to Austria, Greece, Luxembourg and Spain urging them to correctly transpose and apply Directive 2012/34/EU on the Single European Railway Area. The provisions relate to access to rail infrastructure, including charging, to service facilities and to the regulatory bodies and their functions. The Directive also foresees the conclusion of a contractual agreement between the competent authority and the infrastructure manager.
As Austria Greece, Luxembourg and Spain have yet to comply with their obligations, the Commission is now sending a reasoned opinion to each Member State. In separate infringement cases, reasoned opinions have also been sent to Austria and Luxembourg as several Directive 2012/34/EU articles have not been transposed into national law. The Member States have two months to reply and take the necessary measures, otherwise the Commission may refer the cases to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
At the same time, the European Commission decided to open two infringement procedures against Czechia for failing to comply with EU rules on the Single European Rail Area. Both letters refer to the rules stipulated in Directive 2012/34/EU. Czechia failed to fully and correctly transpose some of the Directive's provisions, and now has two months to reply to the arguments raised by the Commission. In the absence of satisfactory responses, the Commission may decide to send reasoned opinions.
The Commission also decided to open an infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice to Ireland on the incorrect application and transposition of EU rules on the Single European Rail Area. The Commission considers that Ireland has failed to ensure full independence of the entity exercising the essential functions (i.e. charging and capacity allocation) in the Irish rail market, as foreseen in the Directive (EU) 2012/34/EU on a Single European Rail Area, as amended by Directive (EU) 2016/2370. Ireland now has two months to reply to the arguments raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion
Lastly, the Commission decided to refer Germany to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for failing to apply the rail safety and interoperability requirements set out in Directives 2004/49/EC and 2008/57/EC to its regional transport networks. The Commission considers that this failure constitutes obstacles to the completion of the Single European Rail Area as the EU rail safety and interoperability acquis is not in use for around 16% of the entire German rail network. It is therefore referring Germany to the Court of Justice for both of these infringements.
Source: European Commission