EC takes legal action over rail freight liberalization
The European Commission on Thursday (Oct. 16) took 9 European member states to the Court of Justice for having failed to notify it of the implementation of a set of measures on rail infrastructure designed to open the European market for international rail freight services.
The measures, consisting of three directives issued in 2001, were due to be “transposed” — or implemented — into national law by every European Union country by March 15 of this year.
The 9 countries that failed to notify the EC of their legal transposition of the European legislation are: Austria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The EC admitted that 4 of the 9 — Sweden, United-Kingdom, Austria, and Germany — have already opened their rail freight market to competition. However, the EC said that this does not exempt them from notifying their national measures.
So far, only Belgium, Finland, France, The Netherlands, Italy and Denmark have notified transposition of the measures to the EC.
“The 2001 rail infrastructure package requires member states to guarantee access rights to the Trans-European Rail Freight Network for international rail freight services, set charges for the use of infrastructure according to common principles, and define transparent and fair rules and procedures for the allocation of train paths,” the EC said.