Rail transport: Commission refers Germany to the Court of Justice for breach of the duty of sincere cooperation

On 16 June 2016, the European Commission decided to refer Germany to the EU Court of Justice owing to the conduct adopted by the German authorities at the 25th session of the Revision Committee of the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) held in Bern, Switzerland, on 25-26 June 2014.

In particular, Germany voted against two of the proposed amendments to the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail, contrary to the European Union’s position as established by way of Council Decision 2014/699/EU, and it openly distanced itself from the vote that had been cast in accordance with that decision.

According to the Commission, such a conduct did not comply with obligations set out in the Council Decision, as well as under Article 4(3) of the Treaty on EU, which establishes the principle of sincere cooperation. In doing so, Germany weakened the Union’s position in its discussions with its international partners.