Pris & Brussels,

Landmark judgement in CORSICA: €86m fine because Public Service Obligation not justified – relevant to passenger rail

The Corsica Island authority has been fined €86 million due to an unjustified Public Service Obligation (‘PSO’) subsidy for the state ferry operator SNCM compared to a privately owned competitor1.

This case is 100% relevant to EU passenger rail. Some EU countries are being lobbied hard by their state rail incumbents to directly award PSO contracts. There is high risk that – like in Corsica – such PSOs will be an unjustified & wasteful use of subsidy - with no benefit for passengers or the environment.

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Incumbent cross-border rail freight cartel is exposed. This must be prevented in EU passenger rail

This week, a cross-border cartel between the state rail incumbents ÖBB, DB & SNCB was exposed. According to the EU Commission, they colluded to protect their business, harming sustainable transport. This example demonstrates the great deal of harm that incumbent cross-border collaborations can do to long distance passenger rail as well. Rather than being exempt from competition law, such cartels must be strictly prevented.

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VRT: Eurostar. Ce que les concurrents reprochent à la SNCF

Les opérateurs ferroviaires européens réunis au sein de l’association ALLRAIL réagissent à la demande d’un soutien public formulée par la SNCF pour sa filiale Eurostar en très mauvaise posture avec la chute du trafic liée à la pandémie. Le secrétaire général de ALLRAIL, Nick Brooks, explique à VRT la position de son association qui réclame notamment la possibilité d’accéder aux rames TGV d’occasion de la SNCF si Eurostar obtient une aide publique.

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