The European Commission will support Renfe in its expansion in France despite the obstacles

Admits that France is using technological barriers to access the country

MADRID, Oct. 22 (-) –

The director of Land Transport of the European Commission, Kristian Schmidt, has defended that European legislation will play its role in ensuring that Renfe overcomes the technological barriers that France has imposed on it so that it can expand in that country, something that Ouigo, a French national company, , has already done in Spain.

This was stated during his participation in a conference organized by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda through Adif to discuss the challenges and opportunities of railway liberalization undertaken in Spain.

In a round table in which representatives of the three operators (Renfe, Iryo and Ouigo) were also present, Schmidt admitted the obstacles that Renfe is encountering in France, by transferring the general director of Development and Strategy of Renfe, Manel Villalante, that the European Commission is on their side to overcome the obstacles.

“We cannot have an island of perfect competition in Spain and when you cross the border, it stops. There has to be reciprocity, Ouigo comes to Spain and Renfe goes to France. We are on your side to overcome, hand in hand with the European Railway Agency , all the obstacles,” he declared.

Schmidt specified that some of these obstacles are not directly saying: “we don’t love you”; They’re more like, “You’re welcome, but you need a certain signaling system that you can’t get.”

At this point when the director of Land Transport of the European Commission stated that European legislation will ensure that Renfe can have access to those systems “that are used as entry barriers.”

Renfe has already been operating since this summer within France in cities such as Lyon or Marseille, although it has also been trying to circulate to Paris for years, but it is in that section between Lyon and the French capital that French organizations are asking for a different signaling system.


Regarding the liberalization model implemented in Spain, Kristian Schmidt has praised it, ensuring that the rest of the European countries should have it as a model, since he believes it has “many virtues.”

At the same time, he celebrated that the use of European funds has been “efficient” in Spain, at least as regards high speed and specifically the modernization of stations so that they have more capacity and can accommodate more operators. . “In other countries it is used as an excuse not to open the market because they say there are no prepared stations,” he lamented.

However, he also pointed out “that not everything is perfect in Spain”, such as the choice not to introduce tolls on the highways (also falls within his powers as director of land transport) or that freight trains do not end up taking off: ” You are in the Champions League in high speed but in the third division in merchandise,” he concluded.

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