Single European railway area
The amount of train travel in Europe is stagnant. Cross-border train travel in particular can be nerve-racking. Service quality differs considerably, diverging ticketing systems make it difficult to book tickets across borders, and poor infrastructure makes European rail networks unreliable.
The presented draft legislation was the Commission's attempt to enforce and further develop European railway networks, recasting the first Railway Package of 2001.
The proposals were to set the regulatory frame for railway transport: this means defining the role of regulatory bodies supervising the national networks, and laying down how infrastructure management and transport service provision should be 'unbundled'.
What was the Greens' position?
The priority of the Greens is to increase railway use in the EU. This will not be possible without more investement in infrastructure and trains. The investments should not only benefit passengers and freight customers, but also residents along existing and future tracks. We therefore demand high noise reduction standards, including retrofitting of older trains.
We believe that the legal framework for EU railway networks is not yet adapted well enough to obtain good results from market mechanisms. The position of former state enterprises remains too dominant to guarantee fair competition with newcomers on the market.
In an effort to facilitate the use of renewable energies, train companies should also be allowed to choose their energy suppliers freely.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens were able to strengthen regulatory bodies as independent supervisors of railway markets. Their function is to observe the application of legislation, to ensure fair competion, and to deal with related complaints. They are now entitled to the necessary independence, and to sufficient staffing and funding.
We have successfully pushed for free choice of electricity suppliers.
And we have supported the successful calls for a transparent seperation of railway services and infrastructure management and for sound financing of infrastructure.
Which points did the Greens lose?
The Greens failed to make the Parliament reject calls for the opening of national rail passenger markets. Under the current legislation this would only benefit the established railway operators. It would not improve service quality for passengers.
We were disappointed that enterprises managing railway networks will be allowed to reject access to infrastructure to new market entrants, if "economically viable" alternatives exist.
Lead MEP:Debora Serracchiani (S&D)
Green MEP responsible:Michael Cramer
Staff contact:Hana Rihovsky (Email)
Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?