Brussels, 03/09/2014 (Agence Europe) - New railway market company entrants have drawn up a list of the strategies employed by dominant market operators to block the former's market access. The European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) presented the discriminatory practices to around ten MEPs on Wednesday 3 September and said that these practices beggared belief.
In contrast with the main operators, the small companies described the situation they had to confront in a number of different member states. These involve, for example, public administrations that display a more favourable approach to the main operators by establishing criteria for subsidies that only correspond to these railway companies. In the context of state railway holdings, ERFA has identified transfer of material and capital to sister companies or financial flows to the holding indirectly subsidising branches and providing them with a competitive advantage over their competitors. Infrastructure managers in integrated holdings offer less interesting segments to new entrants, apply increased prices to them and hold up their workshop access.
ERFA has submitted a list of discriminatory practices to around ten different MEPs, including the president of the EP's Parliamentary committee, Michael Cramer (Greens, Germany), Dominique Riquet (ALDE, France), Ismail Ertug (S&D, Germany) and Ines Ayala Sender (S&D, Spain). Recently elected or re-elected MEPs have therefore been warned about what is going on, while negotiations regarding opening up the passenger transport market and railway governance with the Council could speed up by the end of the year. (MD)