Legal Matters Working Group

The RailNetEurope Legal Matters Working Group (LM WG) consists of lawyers and legal experts drawn from RNE member-organisations. The group was active in connection with the foundation of RNE as early as 2002; in 2003 it met frequently to draft RNE’s statutes and internal rules. Since the Association was founded in 2004, the group has been providing legal advice to RNE.

Main activities
The LM WG provides support to RailNetEurope as regards all internal legal issues relating to the Association’s Statutes, Internal Rules and membership fees, as well as various contractual issues.

One central objective of the LM WG is to improve business relations between Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings. Thus the LM WG has created contract templates such as the Standard Contract for the Use of Railway Infrastructure (2004) or the standard Framework Agreement regarding capacity offered and charges to be levied for more than one timetable period (2005). It has also agreed a Power of Representation: this allows one or several IMs to act on each other’s behalf towards customers regarding the contract for the use of infrastructure.

The LM WG has drafted various legal papers, for instance an investigation of dispute resolution or billing procedures.

In 2011-2012, the templates for IT contracts between RNE and its business partners were revised.

The LM WG is also in charge of negotiations on issues with a legal dimension and has led important harmonisation projects such as:

The Working Group is in charge of the expert monitoring of European legislation, e.g. EU Directive 2012/34 (‘Recast’) and the Freight Regulation 913/2010.

In addition, the LM WG exchanges and analyses information on new developments in the fields of national and international legislation, such as first IM experiences with RU claims resulting from the passenger rights Regulation 1371/2007, or the revision of the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) by the OTIF (Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail). Here the COTIF’s Annex E on the use of infrastructure (CUI) was particularly important.

Finally the LM WG has drafted a Funding Cooperation Agreement between RNE and its Members. This deals with the European Union funding of corridor implementation measures by RNE Members and constitutes a solid basis for the contractual relation between RNE as Coordinator and the Members as Co-Beneficiaries.