Railways: Parliament on collision course with Council over opening up of passenger services

On 1 October, the Parliament’s committee for transport adopted its report for the second reading on the Second Railway Package.

On 1 October, the Parliament's committee for transport voted on the four main legislative proposals of the Second Railway Package. (SeeEURACTIV, 10 September 2003).

MEPs want access to rail networks in all EU countries to be opened up by 1 January 2006 at the latest as regards rail freight and combined transport goods services. For passenger services, the committee voted for a deadline of 1 January 2008 for both national and international services.

In its common position adopted in June 2003, the Council refused to incorporate the opening up of passengers' transport by rail to competition. As a clash between the Parliament and the Council over the deadlines and scope of the draft directive seems certain, Rapporteur Georg Jarzembowski (EPP-ED, Germany) is proposing that the conciliation procedure starts as soon as possible to enable the two institutions to reach agreement before the end of the parliamentary term in May 2004.

The Parliament will vote for its second reading on the Second Railway Package during the Plenary session taking place from 20 to 23 October 2003.


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