11 September 2012

Press Release: Opinion ECJ Advocate General confirms need for strong 4th Railway Package

CLECAT has taken note of the opinion of the European Court Justice Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen on pending cases against Germany, Austria, Spain, Hungary and Portugal for failure to correctly implement various parts of the First Railway Package.

Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General, said: "The opinion of the Advocate General shows again the importance to advance the discussions on the 4th Railway Package and confirms in our opinion the need for the Commission to create a clearer legal framework against which liberalisation can take place; this will require the separation of the operation of rail freight services from the infrastructure management and ownership. This has been advocated since long by CLECAT, representing a large part of the users of rail services."

She continued: "CLECAT is looking forward to the package of proposals that Commissioner Kallas has announced for release by the end of this year which is aimed at further developing non-discriminatory access to the infrastructure. CLECAT believes that parties should not lose their interest on the importance of this, if not the completion of a European Railway Market will become an uphill struggle."

CLECAT was pleased with the comments made by the Commissioner last week in his speech 'Reforming European railway legislation' in particular when he said: 'Let's be clear: a return to the integrated structures we had twenty years ago cannot be regarded as a realistic way forward, though we fully recognise the need to ensure close operational co-operation between infrastructure managers and train operators.'

Background information:
In 2010, the European Commission decided to refer several Member States to the EU's Court of Justice for failing to correctly implement legislation introduced by the 'first railway package' in particular in relation to various parts of the basic EU legislation on opening the EU's rail market to competition (Directive 91/440/EEC, as amended, and 2001/14/EC). The final judgements of the Court are expected to be published in spring 2013.

The press release of the ECJ can be found here.


For further questions please contact

Nicolette van der Jagt

Director General


Tel + 32 2 503 4705

Mob + 32 497 484570