The European Commission believes the two states have not fully applied the provisions of the First Railway Package applicable to the Channel Tunnel.
The Commission’s observations in fact focus very little on the law, but above all on the charges, deemed too high, applied by the infrastructure manager, Eurotunnel, to the railway companies using the tunnel.
The Commission also considers the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC), appointed by the states to be the tunnel’s regulator, not independent enough.
France and the United Kingdom’s relations with Eurotunnel, a private company holding the Channel Tunnel fixed link concession, are governed by the 1986 Treaty of Canterbury and a Concession Agreement of the same year granting Eurotunnel the freedom to set its tariffs with due regard for Community rules.
In order to fulfil the need for transparency set out in the European directives, the IGC has been carrying out a thorough investigation of Eurotunnel’s economic model for the past two years, in constant dialogue with the European Commission; so far, it has revealed no breach of Community regulations./.