Separation of Infrastructure and Operation of Railways in Europe- Institutional Consequences on the International Level



Separation of Infrastructure and Operation of Railways in Europe- Institutional Consequences on the International Level

Authors

DENKHAUS I, Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Societies, Germany

Description

ARer several decades ofrelstive stability, the European railway industry, traditionally organized as public monopolies, are now experiencing a period of substantial refori~ These reforms are adressing the dlmculties the railways were facing due to their t

Abstract

ARer several decades ofrelstive stability, the European railway industry, traditionally organized as public monopolies, are now experiencing a period of substantial refori~ These reforms are adressing the dlmculties the railways were facing due to their tradi- tional bureaucratic organiTation and the dominance of political interests. Although the reform-models chosen by the European governments for their national railway indus- tries vary widely, they show common features when compared to the organiT~tional structure of railways overseas. The vertical separation between railway im~astmcture and operation is the most obvious of these structural pec~lhrities of railway reforms in Europe.

This paper assesses the institutional consequences of the separation of/nfrastructure and operation as part/cnlar feature of the evolving future organiTational structure of raitways in Europe. How does it hfluence politics w~th/n the Enropean Union (EU)? The European Commission as the primary policy-maker the EU-level has pursued a strategy of graduallyzexpanding its competence ever since it was established by the Treaty of Rome. How ~11 it deal with the separation ofra~ im~astructure from trans- port operation? At the international level, the railway industry has been traditionally organ;ged in the UIC (Union htemationale des Chemh~ de Fer, International Railway Association) together with the CER (Community of European Railways) as a special UIC-organiT~tion for the European railway industries. In the face of the current or- ganizational reforms in the railways sector, will the traditional structure of interest rep- resentation be challenged?

ARer a closer look at the reasons for the comprehensive s~uctural reforms of the European raRway industries in the late 1980s and 1990s, a survey of European railway reforms with special emphasis on the separation of rail in~astmeture ~om operation ~11 be presented. The comparison wlth railway reforms outside Europe will exlffoit the peoflarity of these reform features in Europe. The next part of the paper will assess the institutional consequences of these developments for the EU. Then, the consequences for the international representation of the railway industries' interests will be discussed.

Publisher

Association for European Transport