Memorandum of Understanding

On 20 December 2012, in presence of the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of transport, the Ministers in charge of Transport in Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Switzerland signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the framework for capacity allocation on Rail Freight Corridor 1 and Corridor 2.

The MOU was prepared in cooperation with Ministries, Infrastructure Managers / Allocation Bodies and Regulatory Bodies of both corridors as well as with the European Commission and is line with EU Regulation 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight.

The MOU is providing the framework for capacity allocation organised by the Corridors’ One-Stop-Shops as asked for in article 14.1 of the Regulation. The Regulation gives flexibility to Infrastructure Managers to decide upon the available capacity for their One-Stop-Shops, whereas the MOU adds a stable and transparent framework to this flexibility and a monitoring arrangement to support the gradual development of the One-Stop-Shops.

Considering the important number of interconnection points between Rail Freight Corridors 1 and 2, and between these two corridors and other corridors, a harmonised framework for the allocation of the infrastructure capacity on all the European freight corridors was desirable. Therefore, this new common agreement is a strong signal to the European Union regarding the need for harmonisation and the seven signing Ministers have asked the European Commission to issue an opinion on the Allocation Framework and to transpose it into a proposal for a framework at European level.

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