The European Parliament presented its amendments on the 4th Railway Package

On 08 and 09 July in the Committee on Transport of the European Parliament the Rapporteurs presented their draft reports on the 4th Railway Package. The package of measures aims at reforming the rail transport sector, open the market and allow for more competition, and create a single European railway area. The discussion took place in two parts: governance-market opening issues and technical issues.

MEP Grosch who works on the amendment of Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 concerning the opening of the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail, generally agrees with the proposals of the Commission, but wants to make them more flexible. The new Railway Package includes the obligation of competent authorities to produce a detailed transport plan with the objectives of the public transport policy and the means to implement them. MEP Grosch reduces the list of requirements that the Commission gives as to what these plans should include. He also wants to extend the transition period for preparing railway undertakings for competitive tendering from 2019 to 2029. This amendment raised a lot of disagreement among the MEPs as well as the EC.

The second rapporteur - El Khadraoui supports the development of an EU-wide through ticketing scheme and wants to make the provision of such services in each Member State mandatory by 2020. He considers also that it is important that railway undertakings engage in the development of integrated ticketing schemes, in particular as regards local and regional transport. The rapporteur proposes also to make data related to timetables available for third parties.

The deadline for amendments on the 4th railway package is 16 September and the vote in the European Parliament will take place on 26 November. Polis is following the policy developments on the issue and will keep you informed through InfoPolis and its website.