ERFA welcomes the European Commission’s decision to investigate anti-competitive practises of Czech Railway incumbent, Ceské dráhy, in passenger transport.
ERFA, representing new entrants from the freight and passenger sector, believes that the decision of the European Commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, sends a strong signal that anti-competitive behaviour cannot be accepted in the Single European Railway Area.
Incumbent operators both passenger and freight, are doing their best in shutting out competition, but not in improving the quality, the efficiency of rail services. In addition to maintain the rail sector in unsustainable economic conditions, price dumping prevent competitors to access to the market to the detriment of passengers and customers.
Therefore, ERFA very much welcomes the Commission’s decision to crackdown anti-competitive practises and abuse of dominant position in the rail market. It sends a strong signal that the rail sector should urgently stop thinking as a monopoly service provider!
New entrants bring innovation, investments and a business minded approach in the rail sector. They generate new traffics for rail services, attracting new customers and passengers, which directly contribute to decarbonise transport.
However, they face significant discriminatory and anti-competitive practises across Europe, killing-off much-needed dynamism and creativity in the rail sector. In this environment, they difficulty survive in the market, reducing the choice for customers and passengers.
ERFA is strongly committed to support competition authorities in case of unlawful state aid and abuse of dominant position in order to ensure that the rail market complies with the EU rules.
ERFA is convinced that fair competition is the only condition to support rail’s growth and to improve the performance and the quality of rail services. It will enable rail to deliver on the ambitious EU’s modal shift goals for both freight and passenger.