The European Ministers of Transport agreed on 28th March on the second railway package prepared by the European Commission.
This new package will lead, if it is adopted by the European Parliament in second reading, to an opening of the international rail freight to competition on 1st January 2006 (instead of 2008 as forecast in the first railway package), and of the whole rail freight market in January 2008.
This package was approved by qualified majority (Belgium, France and Luxembourg voted against).
The ministers did not adopt the proposal of the Parliament to open passenger rail services to competition in 2008. On this last aspect, the Commission announced that it will make new proposals before the end of the year.