L’espace ferroviaire unique européen. Quelle(s) réalité(s) ?

Cécile Rapoport

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In its communication on the fourth railway package, the Commission stresses the need to "complete the single European railway area". It takes this opportunity to draw up an assessment and prospects for the development of an area which is still under construction and whose degree of realisation needs to be assessed, the specific constraints measured and the potential identified.

The debate on the fourth railway package is an opportunity to deepen the study of European rail services by examining the existence of an internal market for rail transport services. Over and above the mere market dimension, this reflection offers an opportunity to put into perspective the foundations, instruments and challenges of a single European railway area, which perhaps does not yet deserve its name.

This book compares the ambitions and the legal and economic foundations of the single railway area with their realisation. The difficulties observed in the negotiation of the fourth railway package show in many respects that the interests of the players involved differ considerably. The very position of the Union institutions differs both as regards the interpretation of positive law and as regards the direction of its development. In other words, what prospects do the institutional players offer/want to offer to the non-institutional players in the European railway area?

Bringing together academics, professionals and institutional players, this book offers a multidisciplinary view, both theoretical and practical, of the European Union’s single railway area from the perspective of its reality or realities.