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EU Promises Major Simplification of Support for Rail, Inland Waterway and Intermodal Transport

EU Promises Major Simplification of Support for Rail, Inland Waterway and Intermodal Transport
photo: Archive/EU Promises Major Simplification of Support for Rail, Inland Waterway and Intermodal Transport
17 / 01 / 2023

The EU is to substantially simplify support for rail, inland waterways and intermodal transport. See the latest news.

Following the experience of the large-scale approval of public transport aid during the pandemic and in the context of elements of the Green Deal, the European Commission has proposed to simplify the administration. Member States will await the European Commission's approval of their aid plans and co-financing programmes from European funds (so-called notifications). An example is the ROCET programme for rail freight carriers providing refunds for renewable energy charges, which the Ministry of Transport decided to do in Covid due to the reduction of the excise duty on fuel oil. Also, the parliamentary initiative which, when the energy laws were amended in 2021, relieved the entire electric traction in the Czech Republic of the obligation to pay the RES, fell under public aid according to the opinions of the decision-making authorities in the Czech Republic (ERU, ÚOHS and MIT). Member States will be able to spare themselves the subsequent protracted negotiations with the European Commission in future. The forthcoming regulation should come into force in 2023 and will cover aid for rail, inland waterway and intermodal transport. It is also envisaged that, in the absence of any obvious distortion of competition, it will be possible to support transport coordination, as well as the payment for the fulfilment of certain public service obligations in rail passenger transport.

For the Czech Republic, the forthcoming regulation is vital from two points of view: no notification will be required for the extension of existing programmes and measures (e.g., waiver of the POZE for electric traction or support by the MoD for transhipment yards and sidings or ETCS). Future projects are much more crucial, such as the funding of the Digital Automatic Coupling.

Member States will remain obliged to record and collect information on the implementation of the programmes and to report to the European Commission once a year. The European Commission will be obliged to inform the European Parliament of all aid implemented.

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