‘Virtual’ agreement on recast of railway package
By Isabelle Smets | Thursday 14 June 2012
The situation on the railway front is still a bit vague after the 13 June three-way meeting on the recast of EU rail legislation. Roughly, there is a sort of pre-agreement that remains to be confirmed. The negotiators wrapped up their work at 19:00 with what could constitute a final deal. While the Socialists already “welcomed” an agreement, this provisional result still has to be endorsed by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper). Certain adjustments may have to be made. Coreper was given an initial debriefing, on 14 June, but the real discussions will be held next week, probably on 20 June. Things should become clear at that time. The chief negotiators for the European Parliament - Brian Simpson (S&D, UK), Transport Committee chair, and Debora Serracchiani (S&D, Italy), rapporteur – will present the results of the three-way talks to their troops, on 19 June in Brussels, just ahead of the TRAN committee meeting.
Parliament and Council agree on the substance of the reform, but it is the deadlines in the text that are making things so complicated. What is still in brackets at this stage – ie awaiting confirmation – particularly concerns the date of transposition of the revised directive and the date of application of certain specific articles, the time limit member states will be given to adapt existing contracts with infrastructure operators to the new rules, the deadline for states to implement a common methodology to determine infrastructure fees and deadlines for enhanced cooperation by national regulatory bodies.