Attempt to introduce the British model to European railways fails
Germany has succeeded in changing the content of a European Commission proposal on the liberalisation of railways before the proposal was even published. The intention, to introduce greater competition in rail passenger services by separating infrastructure owners from passenger service operators failed after stiff resistance from Deutsche Bahn and SNCF.
Ironically, SNCF is run as a separate entity already but it is intended to merge the two companies once more. Instead, vertically integrated rail companies will have to erect firewalls between their business units before they can compete for passengers in other member states. It is thought that the proposals could yield savings of €500 million per annum by 2025.
Ludford: EU court misses major opportunity for European Arrest Warrant reform
Commenting on Tuesday’s judgement by the European Court of Justice in the Radu case on the European Arrest Warrant, Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman, Sarah Ludford MEP said:
It is deeply regrettable that the Court has missed a major opportunity to reform the operation of the EAW. In sticking to technicalities, they failed to endorse the need for proportionality and the possibility of a refusal to extradite on human rights grounds.
The EAW is an essential tool in fighting cross-border crime and achieving justice for victims like Rob Hughes. But reform is necessary to maintain public confidence, in recognition that criminal justice standards are not uniformly high across Europe.
Slovene liberals withdraw from ruling coalitionLast Thursday, Civic List (Slovenia) leader, Gregor Virant, withdrew his party from the ruling coalition following to the refusal of Prime Minister Janez Janša to resign in light of corruption allegations. Commenting on the developments, Sir Graham Watson, President of the ALDE Party said:
I hope that Prime Minister Janša does the right thing and either stands down or heeds to the call for new parliamentary elections in the near future. In the meantime I trust the Civic List will act as a constructive opposition and support any measures which will be in the interest of the citizens.
Slovenia cannot afford to be preoccupied by a political crisis but it cannot afford to lose the citizens’ trust either. This situation should be resolved immediately so that the country can implement the political and economic reforms needed to manage the difficult economic times it is facing.