EC authorises Czech support for new railway stock
The European Commission has decided today not to raise any objections to a Czech aid measure to support its railway activities. The aid measure contributes positively to the development of railway transport activities and is compatible with the proper functioning of the common market.
The present passenger rolling stock of Czech Railways is strongly outdated and needs to be replaced in order to reduce the failure rate and thereby increase the operational reliability and safety of rail passenger services in the Czech Republic. The Czech authorities intend to guarantee a loan of €30 million offered by the financing company EUROFIMA to Czech Railways (Ceske dráhy) to facilitate the purchase of new passenger rolling stock.
The development of railway activities is in the common interest and in line with European transport policy. Accordingly, the Commission is of the opinion that the proposed measure contributes positively to the development of certain economic activities having a common interest in the meaning of Article 87(3)(c) of the Treaty.
The measure has a very limited adverse impact on present trading conditions. First, Czech Railways pays an interest rate for the loan, as well as a price for the guarantee. Secondly, the guarantee only applies to rail passenger transport in the Czech Republic, a sector currenty not open to competition under EU legislation