On 23 January, the Commission will present a communication and five new legislative proposals to revitalise the European railway industry. This so-called “second railway package” includes proposals for opening up Member States’ goods transport systems to competition, new measures on rail safety and interoperability, the creation of a European Rail Agency for safety and interoperability, and the EU’s membership of the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by rail (OTIF).
The Commission’s plans to revitalise the rail sector might well be threatened by national interests. Currently, the rail industry gets national subsidies of over 30 billion euro. National governments have always had a strong hold over the rail sector in several Member States.