Europe’s railways could be set for a shake-up if plans to increase competition on the continent’s networks are accepted by EU leaders and MEPs.
But the European Commission has watered down its initial proposals to end state-run monopolies such as France’s SNCF.
Those state holding groups, such as Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, that oversee infrastructure, cargo and passenger services may remain.
The compromise comes with a condition: the groups must separate their financial and managerial operations.
European Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas said the move to restructure Europe’s railway market would “encourage innovation and the provision of better services.”
“Rail will be able to grow again to the benefit of citizens, business and the environment. Or we can take the other track. We can accept an irreversible slide down the slippery slope to a Europe where railways are a luxury toy for a few rich countries and are unaffordable for most in the face of scarce public money.”
Monika Heiming of the European Infrastructure Managers welcomed the proposals, saying it would give her members “more independence and greater responsibility.”
Gianni Tabbone, a spokesman for a Belgian transport consumer group, pointed to similar domestic reforms.
He said that it had led to a “poorer level of service, communication and ultimately decision-making.”
Yet the European Commission argues boosting the competition on the EU’s railways will save money for governments and passengers alike.
- 1Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist | euronews, the global conversation
- 2euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 3Chomsky – a rebel with a cause | euronews, world news
- 4Anti-ISIL demonstrations turn violent in Ethiopia | euronews, no comment
- 5The migrants tragedy in the Mediterranean sparks creative satirical response | euronews, world news
- 6Europe is ‘bluffing’ over Greece-Russia relations – analyst | euronews, news
- 7French Alps plane crash treated as suicide and mass murder by co-pilot | euronews, world news
- 8Woman carries can of water on her head along Paris marathon | euronews, world news
- 9Former IMF chief ‘under investigation for money laundering’ | euronews, world news
- 10International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 11Pope Francis washes Rome prisoners’ feet on Holy Thursday | euronews, world news
- 12ECB chief Mario Draghi unhurt after protest during speech | euronews, world news
- 13International news | euronews, latest international news
- 14Portuguese researchers discover the secret of Mind Control | euronews, futuris
- 15Indonesia executes five foreigners despite protest | euronews, world news
- 16French prosecutor: Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately | euronews, world news
- 17eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 18International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 19Energy-generating clothes and smart lights join the Internet of Things | euronews, hi-tech
- 20Fighting Boko Haram: Chad aims to ‘destroy’ militant group | euronews, world news