Parliament wants rethink on European railway liberalisation plans

Plans by Brussels to force member states to liberalise their railways should be looked at again by the European Commission, according to the Dutch parliament.

MPs are also hoping for support from other member states, arguing that the plans will not benefit Dutch rail users. If a third of member states lodge objections, they can force the commission to reconsider its plans by giving it a metaphorical yellow card, website reported.


As the proposal now stands, the Netherlands would be forced to allow three companies to operate national rail services, said. Currently NS holds the main licence and several small companies operate regional services.


The ruling VVD-PvdA coalition is divided on the issue. The VVD supports greater competition on the railways and thinks this should be organised at a European level. The party’s coalition partner is opposed.


Junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld says she opposes the yellow card option. Continuing to talk to Brussels is the only way to influence the plans, Mansveld told MPs, adding that she will decide her formal position after the summer.



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