Rail Transport: the setting up of the single European rail area is closer

The agreement reached on 19 April by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the European Union paves the way for a swift adoption of the Fourth Railways Package, which is a set of six legislative proposals to improve the performance of rail services in the EU. Once adopted, the package will complete the single European rail area by a gradual opening of the domestic rail markets, which will also make the European railways more innovative and competitive.

Such a market opening will bring a number of benefits to passengers, public authorities and to the European economy as a whole. In particular, it will revitalize domestic rail markets through the possibility for the EU railway undertakings to offer rail services all over the Europe. Indeed from 2023 competent authorities should award public service rail contracts through competitive tenders opened to all EU railways undertakings. Market-opening will also favor the emergence of new business models, and offer more choice to consumers, as well as it will enable a shift from other more polluting transport modes towards rail.