BETA


2020/0160(COD) Empowering France to negotiate an agreement supplementing its existing bilateral Treaty with the United Kingdom concerning the construction and operation by private concessionaires of a Channel Fixed Link

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead TRAN
Committee Legal Basis Opinion JURI ROBERTI Franco (icon: S&D S&D)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 163, RoP 40, TFEU 091

Events

2020/11/05
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2020/10/22
   Final act published in Official Journal
2020/10/21
   CSL - Draft final act
Documents
2020/10/21
   CSL - Final act signed
2020/10/19
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2020/10/09
   EP/CSL - Act adopted by Council after Parliament's 1st reading
2020/10/09
   CSL - Council Meeting
2020/10/08
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 687 votes to 3, with 4 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council empowering France to negotiate an agreement supplementing its existing bilateral Treaty with the United Kingdom concerning the construction and operation by private concessionaires of a Channel Fixed Link.

The European Parliament adopted its position at first reading in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure by amending the Commission proposal as follows.

Objective

The Intergovernmental Commission is the national safety authority within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/798, responsible for the Channel fixed link.

After the end of the transition period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the Intergovernmental Commission shall become a body established by an international agreement between a Member State, namely France, and a third country, namely the United Kingdom. Unless otherwise provided for in an international agreement binding the United Kingdom, it shall no longer be a national security authority under Union law, which shall no longer apply to the part of the Channel fixed link under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.

Consequently, the proposed Decision defines the conditions under which France is authorised to negotiate, sign and conclude an international agreement with the United Kingdom, supplementing the Treaty of Canterbury, concerning the construction and operation by private concessionary companies of a cross-Channel fixed link with regard to the application of railway safety rules on the Channel fixed link, in order to maintain a unified safety regime. Such an international agreement shall enter into force after the end of the transitional period.

Conditions

The international agreement shall comply with a number of conditions. The amended text specifies in this respect that in order to maintain a unified safety regime on the whole Channel fixed link, the Intergovernmental Commission shall ensure the application, as regards the Channel fixed link, of the provisions of Union law, as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union in relation to the tasks of the national safety authorities within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/798.

In accordance with the Treaty of Canterbury, disputes between France and the United Kingdom concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty of Canterbury are settled by an arbitral tribunal. Where such disputes raise questions relating to the interpretation of Union law, the arbitral tribunal shall, in order to ensure the correct application of Union law, ask the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling on those questions.

France shall keep the Commission regularly informed about its negotiations with the United Kingdom on the supplementary agreement. At the end of these negotiations, France shall submit the resulting draft supplementary agreement to the Commission. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council thereof.

A proposal for a Regulation amending Directive (EU) 2016/798 on railway safety is also being presented in parallel by the Commission.

Documents
2020/09/28
   EP - Specific opinion
Documents
2020/09/15
   EP - ROBERTI Franco (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2020/09/14
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading
2020/09/02
   EP - Decision by committee, without report
2020/07/27
   EC - Legislative proposal
Details

PURPOSE: to empower France to negotiate an agreement supplementing its existing bilateral Treaty with the United Kingdom concerning the construction and operation by private concessionaires of a Channel Fixed Link.

PROPOSED ACT: Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council.

BACKGROUND: the Treaty between France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the construction and operation by concessionnaires of a Channel Fixed Link, signed at Canterbury on 12 February 1986 established an Intergovernmental Commission to supervise all matters concerning the construction and operation of the Channel Fixed Link.

After the end of the transitional period set out in the agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, the Intergovernmental Commission shall constitute a body established by a Member State and a third country and shall therefore cease to be the national safety authority within the meaning of the EU Railway Safety Directive 2016/798 for the Channel Fixed Link. From the same date, EU law shall no longer be applicable to the part of the Channel Fixed Link under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.

Considering the special position of the Channel Fixed Link as a railway link involving a single, complex engineering structure situated partly in the territory of France and of a third country respectively, it is appropriate to authorise France to enter into an international agreement with the United Kingdom regarding the application of the railway safety rules of the Union to the Channel Fixed Link in order to maintain a unified safety regime in the whole Tunnel, provided that certain requirements are fulfilled.

To this end, a proposal for a Regulation amending Directive (EU) 2016/798 on railway safety is also being presented in parallel by the Commission.

CONTENT: following a request submitted by France on 16 July 2020, this proposal aims to authorise France to negotiate an international agreement supplementing the Treaty of Canterbury with the United Kingdom to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the Channel Fixed Link by maintaining a single safety authority responsible for the whole infrastructure, and to define the specific requirements that the proposed agreement must meet, such as the obligation for the Intergovernmental Commission to apply EU rules on railway safety and interoperability.

The Intergovernmental Commission established by the Treaty of Canterbury shall therefore remain the single safety authority and shall continue to apply Union rules on railway safety. The aim is to ensure that the Intergovernmental Commission applies Union law on the whole of the Channel Fixed Link, including in its section under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.

In accordance with the Treaty of Canterbury, disputes between France and the United Kingdom concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty of Canterbury shall be settled by an arbitration tribunal. Where such disputes raise questions relating to the interpretation of Union law, the arbitral tribunal should, in order to ensure the correct application of Union law, refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union and defer to its decision.

Documents

Votes

Demande d'application de la procédure d'urgence: Décision habilitant la France à conclure un accord international concernant le tunnel sous la Manche - C9-0211/2020 - 2020/0160(COD) #

2020/10/05 Outcome: +: 684, 0: 3, -: 2
DE FR IT ES PL RO NL SE CZ HU BE PT EL AT BG FI DK IE HR SK LT LV SI EE CY MT LU
Total
90
78
75
57
51
30
29
21
21
21
20
20
21
19
17
14
14
13
12
14
11
8
8
7
6
6
6
icon: PPE PPE
186

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
2

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2
icon: S&D S&D
140

Greece S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Estonia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1
icon: Renew Renew
97

Italy Renew

For (1)

1

Hungary Renew

2

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Finland Renew

3

Ireland Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

2

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Slovenia Renew

2

Estonia Renew

3

Luxembourg Renew

2
icon: ID ID
74

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Czechia ID

2
3

Finland ID

2

Denmark ID

For (1)

1

Estonia ID

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
66

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
60

Germany ECR

For (1)

1

Greece ECR

1

Bulgaria ECR

2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

1

Latvia ECR

2
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
37

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

1

Belgium GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

3

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: NI NI
29

Germany NI

2

Netherlands NI

1

Hungary NI

1

Slovakia NI

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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2020-09-28T00:00:00
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events/3/summary
  • The European Parliament adopted by 687 votes to 3, with 4 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council empowering France to negotiate an agreement supplementing its existing bilateral Treaty with the United Kingdom concerning the construction and operation by private concessionaires of a Channel Fixed Link.
  • The European Parliament adopted its position at first reading in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure by amending the Commission proposal as follows.
  • Objective
  • The Intergovernmental Commission is the national safety authority within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/798, responsible for the Channel fixed link.
  • After the end of the transition period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the Intergovernmental Commission shall become a body established by an international agreement between a Member State, namely France, and a third country, namely the United Kingdom. Unless otherwise provided for in an international agreement binding the United Kingdom, it shall no longer be a national security authority under Union law, which shall no longer apply to the part of the Channel fixed link under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.
  • Consequently, the proposed Decision defines the conditions under which France is authorised to negotiate, sign and conclude an international agreement with the United Kingdom, supplementing the Treaty of Canterbury, concerning the construction and operation by private concessionary companies of a cross-Channel fixed link with regard to the application of railway safety rules on the Channel fixed link, in order to maintain a unified safety regime. Such an international agreement shall enter into force after the end of the transitional period.
  • Conditions
  • The international agreement shall comply with a number of conditions. The amended text specifies in this respect that in order to maintain a unified safety regime on the whole Channel fixed link, the Intergovernmental Commission shall ensure the application, as regards the Channel fixed link, of the provisions of Union law, as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union in relation to the tasks of the national safety authorities within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/798.
  • In accordance with the Treaty of Canterbury, disputes between France and the United Kingdom concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty of Canterbury are settled by an arbitral tribunal. Where such disputes raise questions relating to the interpretation of Union law, the arbitral tribunal shall, in order to ensure the correct application of Union law, ask the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling on those questions.
  • France shall keep the Commission regularly informed about its negotiations with the United Kingdom on the supplementary agreement. At the end of these negotiations, France shall submit the resulting draft supplementary agreement to the Commission. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council thereof.
  • A proposal for a Regulation amending Directive (EU) 2016/798 on railway safety is also being presented in parallel by the Commission.
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events/0/summary
  • PURPOSE: to empower France to negotiate an agreement supplementing its existing bilateral Treaty with the United Kingdom concerning the construction and operation by private concessionaires of a Channel Fixed Link.
  • PROPOSED ACT: Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council.
  • ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council.
  • BACKGROUND: the Treaty between France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the construction and operation by concessionnaires of a Channel Fixed Link, signed at Canterbury on 12 February 1986 established an Intergovernmental Commission to supervise all matters concerning the construction and operation of the Channel Fixed Link.
  • After the end of the transitional period set out in the agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, the Intergovernmental Commission shall constitute a body established by a Member State and a third country and shall therefore cease to be the national safety authority within the meaning of the EU Railway Safety Directive 2016/798 for the Channel Fixed Link. From the same date, EU law shall no longer be applicable to the part of the Channel Fixed Link under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.
  • Considering the special position of the Channel Fixed Link as a railway link involving a single, complex engineering structure situated partly in the territory of France and of a third country respectively, it is appropriate to authorise France to enter into an international agreement with the United Kingdom regarding the application of the railway safety rules of the Union to the Channel Fixed Link in order to maintain a unified safety regime in the whole Tunnel, provided that certain requirements are fulfilled.
  • To this end, a proposal for a Regulation amending Directive (EU) 2016/798 on railway safety is also being presented in parallel by the Commission.
  • CONTENT: following a request submitted by France on 16 July 2020, this proposal aims to authorise France to negotiate an international agreement supplementing the Treaty of Canterbury with the United Kingdom to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the Channel Fixed Link by maintaining a single safety authority responsible for the whole infrastructure, and to define the specific requirements that the proposed agreement must meet, such as the obligation for the Intergovernmental Commission to apply EU rules on railway safety and interoperability.
  • The Intergovernmental Commission established by the Treaty of Canterbury shall therefore remain the single safety authority and shall continue to apply Union rules on railway safety. The aim is to ensure that the Intergovernmental Commission applies Union law on the whole of the Channel Fixed Link, including in its section under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.
  • In accordance with the Treaty of Canterbury, disputes between France and the United Kingdom concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty of Canterbury shall be settled by an arbitration tribunal. Where such disputes raise questions relating to the interpretation of Union law, the arbitral tribunal should, in order to ensure the correct application of Union law, refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union and defer to its decision.