Railway operators across Europe are set to enjoy fair competition under a deal reached between Parliament's negotiators and EU governments.
The informal agreement provides for independent national rail regulators, to be tasked with ensuring fair competition and obliged to handle complaints within a maximum of 16 weeks. The new rules should also provide a sound basis for funding network infrastructure over five-year periods.
The agreement on plans to beef up existing pieces of railway legislation and merge them to establish a single European railway area should also give all rail operators fair access to a wider range of services (including ticketing sales and station facilities) besides guaranteeing them equal access to the rail network.
"Parliament has brought substantial improvement to the new legislation, by broadening the scope and putting infrastructure investment on solid ground", said Brian Simpson (S&D, UK), chair of the transport committee, when reporting back to its members on Tuesday morning on the outcome of the final negotiations with Council.
The Danish transport minister, Henrik Dam Kristensen, congratulated rapporteur Debora Serracchiani (S&D, IT)."This is a major outcome for all of us", he told the transport committee.
The compromise agreement reached with the Danish Presidency on 13 June prepares the ground for forthcoming legislation on national passenger transport to complete the single European rail area.
Parliament will cast its final vote on the compromise text on 3 July.
In the chair: Brian Simpson (S&D, UK)