On Thursday, 8 October, there will be a meeting of the European Union Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of Ministers in Luxembourg. Latvia will be represented by Transport Ministry’s parliamentary secretary Karina Korna.
During this meeting, officials will discuss proposals for the so-called 4th railway package. Its goal is to overcome remaining obstacles in the way of creating a single European railway line.
The main objective of the legislative package is to improve the quality of railway service and its efficiency by putting to rest remaining legal, institutional and technical obstacles that only serve to delay the creation of a single European railway line, as reported by Transport Ministry.
Amendments to the management directive provide for the creation of a single European railway line and conditions to restrict access and ties between commercial and passenger services. Rules for single information and integrated ticket sale systems are also included. The goal of amendments to the directive is to strengthen the independence of those in charge of infrastructure by compiling all functions of infrastructure management and by clarifying all management structure roles.
In regards to the regulation’s coverage of inland passenger transport market’s opening, amendments contain certain rules for public service contracts for passenger transports, as well as additional measures to increase effectiveness for procurement projects, such as ease of access to rolling stock, better transparency for defining of public services, as well as provision of relevant information to potential contenders.
Latvia welcomes the progress achieved during Luxembourg’s presidency in relation to both proposals and continuation of discussions that were originally initiated during Italy’s and Latvia’s presidency. Latvia welcomes Luxemburg’s efforts to find balance between different situations of member states and supports the agreement on the general approach for the management directive and regulation in regards to the opening of the inland railway passenger transport market.
The ministers’ meeting will also feature discussions of matters related to the main goals listed in the 2011 White Book ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’ in regards to Europe’s leading role in global efforts to reduce emissions of harmful gasses and other priority problems that require addressing in the near future.
Latvia plans to emphasize that the transport policy has always faced all kinds of challenges, considering its global role on a national and European level.
Transport was one of the milestones for the creation of an inclusive and competitive Europe. With that, Latvia expects new initiatives from the European Commission will include challenges the transport industry now faces and specific situations of EU member states in order to achieve goals that have been set in the transport policy, the ministry explains.