Independent rail regulators from across Europe signed an agreement on 9 June which will ensure closer cooperation to meet the needs of passengers and freight customers. A group of independent rail regulatory bodies from 16 European countries, including Great Britain’s Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), met in The Hague to establish the Independent Regulators’ Group – Rail (IRG-Rail) – a new forum for cooperation between national independent rail regulators. This new body will seek to:
- Promote the interests of passenger and freight users in Europe;
- Encourage sustainable and effective competition in the provision of passenger and freight transport;
- Promote a consistent approach to the European regulatory framework for railways;
- Speak with a strong and common voice at Community level.
In a joint statement, members of the newly-formed IRG-Rail said: "As the rail market in Europe grows, now is the time to strengthen cooperation between national rail regulatory bodies. Effective independent rail regulation and close cooperation between Europe’s regulators will help to ensure that a competitive European market for railways develops and that our railways are meeting the needs of passengers and freight customers.”
In its first year, IRG-Rail will be led by Matthias Kurth (Chair, Bundesnetzagentur, the German multisectoral regulator) as Chair, and Anna Walker (Chair, ORR) as Vice Chair.