Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission

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The IGC

The Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) was set up to supervise, in the name and on behalf of the two governments, all matters concerning the construction and operation of the Fixed Link. It is the conduit for discussion between the public services of the two States involved with the Fixed Link. It is granted prescriptive powers and has a permanent surveillance and control function. It has the necessary regulatory powers to put a “unified safety regime” in place in the Tunnel. As such it is concerned with, for example, the transposition of European directives having relevance within the limits of the Eurotunnel Concession.

The functions of the IGC are defined by Article 10 of the Treaty of Canterbury.

The IGC is the safety authority for the Fixed Link in terms of Directive 2004/49/EC on rail safety.

In addition, the IGC has an economic regulatory role as a result of Article 12 of its Binational Regulation of 3 July 2009 implementing the First Railway Package.

The composition of the French delegation is established by the décret 86-342 of 11 March 1986.

Article 10 of the Treaty of Canterbury :

INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMISSION

(1) An Intergovernmental Commission shall be established to supervise, in the name and on behalf of the two Governments, all matters concerning the construction and operation of the Fixed Link.

(2) With regard to the Concessionaires, the two Governments shall exercise through the Intergovernmental Commission their rights and obligations under the Concession, other than those relating to the amendment, extension, suspension, termination or assignment of the latter.

(3) The functions of the Intergovernmental Commission shall include:

(a) Monitoring the construction and operation of the Fixed Link;

(b) Undertaking necessary consultations with the Concessionaires;

(c) Taking decisions in the name of the two Governments for the implementation of the Concession;

(d) Approving proposals made by the Safety Authority as provided by Article 11;

(e) Drawing up, or participating in the preparation of, regulations applicable to the Fixed Link, including regulations relating to maritime matters and the environment, and monitoring their subsequent implementation;

(f) Considering any matter referred to it by the Governments or the Safety Authority or any other matter which appears to it to be necessary to consider;

(g) Giving advice and making recommendations to the two Governments or the Concessionaires.

(4) Each Government shall appoint half the members of the Intergovernmental Commission, which shall comprise at most 16 members including at least two representatives of the Safety Authority. The Chairmanship of the Commission shall be held for a period of one year by the head of each delegation alternately.

(5) The decisions of the Intergovernmental Commission shall be taken by agreement between the heads of the British and French delegations. In the event of disagreement between them, the procedure for consultation between Governments provided for in Article 18 shall apply.

(6) The Intergovernmental Commission shall draw up its own rules of procedure and submit them for the approval of the two Governments.

(7) For the purpose of carrying out its functions the Intergovernmental Commission may invoke the assistance of the authorities of each Government or any body or expert of its choice.

(8) The Governments shall take all necessary measures to ensure that regulations applicable to the Fixed Link have the necessary force and effect within their national laws and shall grant to the Intergovernmental Commission such powers of investigation, inspection and direction as are necessary for the performance of its functions.

(9) The expenses of the Intergovernmental Commission shall be met by the Concessionaires as provided in the Concession.

Composition of French delegation

Décret 86-342 du 11 mars 1986, Article 1 :

La délégation française à la commission intergouvernementale chargée de suivre l’ensemble des questions liées à la construction et à l’exploitation de la liaison fixe trans-Manche est constituée comme suit :

  • deux titulaires et deux suppléants représentant le ministre chargé de l’économie, des finances et du budget ;
  • deux titulaires et deux suppléants représentant le ministre chargé des relations extérieures ;
  • un titulaire et un suppléant représentant le ministre charge de l’intérieur et de la décentralisation ;
  • deux titulaires et deux suppléants représentant le ministre chargé des transports.

Le secrétariat général de la commission est assuré par les services du ministre chargé des transports.

Les membres de la délégation française et le secrétaire général sont nommés par arrêté du premier ministre, sur proposition des ministres intéressés. Le chef de la délégation française est nommé par arrêté du Premier ministre parmi les membres de celle-ci.

Composition of UK delegation

The Secretary of State for Transport appoints the Head of Delegation and provides a representative with expertise in transport security. The Head of the UK Delegation to the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority (who is also appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport) is automatically a member of the delegation, in accordance with Article 10(4) of the Treaty of Canterbury.

The Foreign and Commonwealth office provides a legal adviser. The other members represent the Office of Rail Regulation, the Immigration Service and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.