The Conseil d’Etat(1) confirms the unique status of the Channel Tunnel

In the context of the 4 August 2014 French railway reform, the French Ministère des Transports issued a decree defining the networks comparable to the national railway network, for which the terms of the above reform would apply.

Eurotunnel, the Concessionaire for the Channel Tunnel until 2086, appealed to the Conseil d’Etat on the basis that this decree, which could only apply to the French half of the Channel Tunnel, was contrary to the terms of the Treaty of Canterbury which set out the bi-national nature of the Channel Tunnel in 1986.

The Conseil d’Etat, in its decision dated 15 April 2016, upheld Eurotunnel’s appeal and removed the attachment of the Channel Tunnel to the National network. This decision is definitive and is not susceptible to further appeal.

The Fixed Link will therefore continue to operate under the unique status which prohibits a regulation from being imposed on only one side of the Channel creating obstacles and inconsistencies, or which seeks to set limits to its success factors: freedom to set prices for its Shuttle services or charges for use of its network as set out in the RUC (Railway Usage Contract).

Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel SE stated:

« Eurotunnel is delighted with the decision of the Conseil d’Etat, which confirms the importance of the unique status of the integrated bi-national transport service. »

  1. French Council of State