On 19th September 2011, a first round of talks about current international regulatory issues in the railway sector was held in Bonn (D) today between Francois Coart, President of the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA), Monika Heiming, ERFA Secretary General, and Matthias Kurth, President of the Bundesnetzagentur in his function as chairperson of the group of independent regulators (IRG-Rail).
During the meeting, the positions of ERFA and IRG-Rail on current issues and developments in the European railway market were discussed. Amongst the topics raised were the proposals published by the European Commission in 2010 on the recast of the first railway package and the relevant negotiations between the Transport Council and the European Parliament. Both sides emphasized the importance of the entire liberalization and further opening of the rail market. Rapidly adopting the railway package could materially contribute to this. They also welcomed the recast's aim to strengthen the role of the regulatory bodies and to establish closer international cooperation between the national regulators.
Mr Coart, Ms Heiming and Mr Kurth also discussed the Regulation concerning a European rail network for competitive freight, which came into effect last autumn. Here the need for cooperation among stakeholders becomes evident as this will ensure that the corridors will actually be working as foreseen in the Regulation.
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