François Bausch, Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, attended a conference aimed at promoting railway transport in Europe held on 26 October 2015 by the CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies) at the Milan Expo 2015.
This conference brought together all the main bodies (European Commission, Council and European Parliament) involved in the negotiations that will begin on Friday, 30 October during a trilogue in Strasbourg, on the three proposals of the fourth rail package's political pillar.
In his speech, Minister Bausch reiterated his thanks to the Latvian Presidency for having finalised negotiations on the technical pillar, which has allowed the Luxembourg Presidency to have a clear vision of and focus on governance and public service contracts, working very closely with Latvia and the Netherlands. On 8 October 2015, the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, chaired by François Bausch, thus managed to adopt a general approach to the liberalisation of passenger transport by rail and the improved governance of rail infrastructure.
'Negotiations with the European Parliament's representatives will begin in November 2015, and I am confident that we will be able to reach a final political agreement on the package in March 2016, following the agreement unanimously reached by the Council in October, in favour of the text', the Minister said.
'We have found a pragmatic solution on all the texts which takes into account the specific features of different Member States and which will promote railway transport in Europe, particularly compared to road transport. We have clearly opted for an approach based, not on ideology, but on results. By tailoring the rules to specific national situations, we have been able to eliminate discrimination and create equal conditions for operators. Railway transport will improve in terms of both quality and the environment'.
François Bausch called for technical harmonisation and more investment in rail infrastructure. which are of vital importance in optimising rail service and quality in Europe.
The goal of the Luxembourg Presidency is to promote efficient, safe, reliable, accessible and socially responsible mobility, together with developing a transport industry which is sustainable, innovative and which creates quality jobs. At the end of its Presidency, Luxembourg will initiate a debate on social aspects in road transport. In the minister's view, a European legal framework in that area is of crucial importance.
Press release issued by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure