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October 09, 2009

EU states still failing to implement First Railway Package

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MOST European Union Member States have yet to correctly implement the First Railway Package (FRP), according to the European Commission (EC), which has sent reasoned opinions to 21 European Union Member States regarding their failure to transpose the legislation into their legal systems.
Last June the EC initiated infringement proceedings against 24 member states that had failed to fully implement the FRP, but more than a year on it says the majority still have not fully complied. The latest criticisms highlight a number of recurrent shortcomings, including the lack of independence of the infrastructure manager in relation to train operators, inadequate implementation of provisions on track access charging, and the failure to establish independent regulatory bodies with adequate powers to remedy competition problems.
Adopted by the EC in 2000, the FRP is intended to create the conditions for a liberalised railfreight market where any operator in possession of the relevant licenses can gain access to national railway networks. A deadline of March 2003 was set for 15 member states to transpose the FRP into their legal systems, with the eight new member states due to adopt the measures in May 2004.

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