Rådsdirektiv 91/440/EØF av 29. juli 1991 om utvikling av Fellesskapets jernbaner
Fortolkningsdom avsagt av EU-domstolen 28.6.2017
BAKGRUNN (fra Kommisjonens faktaark, engelsk utgave)
Development of the Community's railways
At the beginning of the 90s, the rail freight market was still closed in some countries, while in others it was already being opened. Access was possible for example in Austria, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Given the diversity of regulations, this Directive seeks to create an integrated European railway area and speed up market integration by removing major obstacles to cross-border services. At the same time, it will ensure a high standard of operational safety on the railways and help to reduce costs and facilitate operations through greater harmonisation of technical standards in the railway industry.
The completion of an integrated market for rail freight services is one of the cornerstones of the recent White Paper on European transport policy for 2010. The free movement of services implies granting access rights to rail infrastructure for railway undertakings in the European Union.
Directive 91/440/EEC made a first step in this direction by establishing rights of access for railway undertakings operating international combined transport. Directive 2001/12/EC also establishes access rights to the trans-European rail freight network and, from 2008 at the latest, to the whole European rail network for international freight services.
Extending access rights to the entire network for international rail freight services from 1 January 2006 should increase the expected benefits in terms of transfer to other modes of transport and the development of international rail freight.
The new legislation will extend access rights to all types of rail freight service from 1 January 2007, in accordance with the principle of the freedom to provide services and should improve the efficiency of rail compared to other modes of transport. It should also promote sustainable transport within and between the Member States, by encouraging competition and allowing entry of new capital and new undertakings.
With regard to the opening of the international passenger transport service market, the 2010 deadline proposed by the Commission in the third package of measures on freight was confirmed by European legislators on 23 October 2007.
The impact on business
The Directive affects the whole railway sector, including the railway supply industry and rail freight customers such as rail freight forwarders, logistics integrators and shippers. The objective is to enable national railway undertakings that were in the past too focussed on the national market to pursue a genuine European market strategy, whilst at the same time favouring small railway undertakings.
Fostering competition on domestic and international rail freight markets was considered as the most important prerequisite for improving the competitiveness and service quality of rail freight as well as increasing its modal share.
This Directive aims to facilitate the adaptation of the Community's railways to the needs of the single market and to increase their efficiency, in particular by separating the management of railway operation and infrastructure from the provision of railway transport services.
The Directive applies to the management of railway infrastructure and to the rail transport activities of the railway undertakings established or to be established in the Community, with the exception of railway undertakings whose activity is limited to the provision of solely urban, suburban or regional services.
Management independence of railway undertakings:
• railway undertakings must have independent status (in particular budgets and accounts which are separate from those of the State) as regards management, administration and internal control over administrative, economic and accounting matters;
• commercial undertakings must be administered in accordance with the principles which apply to commercial companies;
• railway undertakings must determine their business plans in such a way as to achieve financial equilibrium and other technical, commercial and financial management objectives;
• railway undertakings may set up groupings with railway undertakings established in other Member States.
Separation between infrastructure management and transport operations:
• Member States must take the measures necessary to ensure that the accounts for business relating to the provision of transport services and those for business relating to the management of railway infrastructure are kept separate;
• Member States must take the measures necessary for the development of their national railway infrastructure and may entrust the management to the railway undertaking;
• a non-discriminatory user fee must be charged to railway undertakings and international groupings which use the infrastructure.
This Directive enables European Union railway undertakings to access the railway network in order to make use of international freight services within the Community.
Its aim is to separate both the profit and loss accounts and the balance sheets of the rail infrastructure managers from those of the service operators, ensuring transparency in the use of funds in a capital intensive industry, particularly by accounting separation between transport, passengers and freight services. This Directive also aims to give responsibility for essential functions to an independent body in order to guarantee fair and non-discriminatory access to infrastructure.
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