Opinion factsheet

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    A SINGLE EUROPEAN RAILWAY AREA

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    : CDR 297/2010
    : DELEBARRE, Michel
    : PES (Party of European Socialists)
    : COTER
    : Adopted
    : 28/01/2011
    THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



    - supports the European Commission's approach to opening up railway markets, while stressing that the objective is not unbridled competition but competition designed to improve the railway sector's productivity and service to customers. Competition is nevertheless a means and not an end, and should be carried out under conditions that ensure an absolutely level playing field for all railway operators;

    - supports the development of specialised networks (high-speed, freight), but stresses the European cohesion objectives and the need to avoid creating a multi-speed Europe;

    - considers that the future proposal for a common financial framework should be clarified, especially with respect to how it differs from a "single fund", which the Committee of the Regions rejects. A midway solution would be to include in the new Structural Funds regulations an earmarking mechanism for funds allocated to sustainable transport which would give preference to the financing of sections of priority TEN-T projects as well as to urban mobility action plans;

    - in principle, welcomes the link that the Commission has established between noise-differentiated charges for railways and adoption of the "Eurovignette" levy on the internalisation of the external costs for lorry transport;

    - with regard to financing infrastructure, regrets that it is not mandatory for Member States to consult local and regional authorities when developing national rail infrastructure strategies;

    - regrets that the Commission does not make any binding legislative commitments regarding the total separation of infrastructure managers and railway undertakings.
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