4th Railway Package - CLECAT disappointed by First Reading Position of the European Parliament
The European Freight Forwarders' Association, CLECAT, has expressed its disappointment about the European Plenary vote on the six legislative proposals forming the 4th Railway Package which took place in Strasbourg yesterday.
Amendments adopted by the European Parliament failed to ensure an effective independence of the infrastructure manager and financial transparency within vertically integrated structures which are essential to ensure an equal and non-discriminatory access to the network.
Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General of CLECAT said: 'whereas there will be progress on technical harmonisation, the amendments adopted by the European Parliament on the governance directive will limit effective competition in the rail sector and therefore undermine the whole raison d'être of the European Commission proposals; the need to deliver better quality and more choice in railway services in Europe. We had expected a more ambitious stance from the European Parliament since the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) reached a good compromise in December. The Plenary vote demonstrates again the strength of the vested national structures of railway companies.'
CLECAT welcomed progress on the 'technical pillar' of the package (recasts of the safety and interoperability directives and a new regulation on the European Railway Agency) which will contribute to less administrative costs and procedures for railway undertakings. Also, there was good progress on the proposals to empower the European Railway Agency (ERA) with new tasks, such as the issuing of safety certificates and vehicle authorisations valid throughout the EU.
Ms van der Jagt concluded: 'Freight forwarders have an interest in exploring the opportunities of rail freight today and in the future. We remain convinced that the success in achieving an increased share of rail freight in the future depends on fair competition and open access in the rail freight market through the development of sound business models and efficient internal management that must be achievable within the framework of a modern rail market legislation.'
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