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Home News European Commission approves German US$2.97 billion rail measures

European Commission approves German US$2.97 billion rail measures

The European Commission (EC) has approved, under EU State aid rules, two German schemes for the development of the rail freight and the long-distance rail passenger sector which were affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The two schemes will ensure increased public support to encourage the shift of freight and passenger traffic from road to rail.

The European Commission's support will take shape of the reduction of the charges paid by railway companies.

In particular, the first measure, with an estimated budget of US$486.5 (€410) million, will support approximately 98% of the infrastructure charges paid by rail freight operators during the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2021.

Additionally, the second measure which has an estimated budget of US$2.49 (€2.1) billion, will relieve long-distance rail passenger operators of approximately 98% of the infrastructure charges paid during the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2022.

"The measures will contribute to maintaining the competitiveness of rail compared to other modes of transport, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal," stated Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy.

"We continue working with all Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place as quickly and effectively as possible, in line with EU rules," he added.

EC found that the measures are beneficial for the environment while the rail transport is less polluting than road transport and it also decreases road congestion.

Moreover, the European Commission stated that the measures are necessary to achieve the objective pursued, namely to support the modal shift from road to rail whilst not leading to undue competition distortions and that they comply with EU State aid rules.





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