Next steps in the liberalization of the EU passenger rail market: new challenges for future public service contracts

The paper “Next steps in the liberalization of the EU passenger rail market: new challenges for future public service contracts” will be presented at the 2nd Florence Rail Conference (9-10 December, 2021).

ABSTRACT:

The process of EU rail market liberalization is now at a tipping point, with the fourth railway package approved by the European Parliament and Commission and the Member States that have to embed its mandates and provisions into their national legislation. This has already been done to a large extent. The railway package is articulated in two main pillars -market pillar and technical pillar- with specific objectives. My paper will focus in the market pillar, specially in the new challenges that the liberalization of the Eu passenger rail market will have in the public service contracts in effect as of 2023.

The establishment of the single European railway area requires common rules on the award of public service contracts in this sector, whilst taking into account the specific circumstances of each Member State. Public service contracts for public passenger transport services by rail should be awarded on the basis of a competitive tendering procedure. Procedures for competitive tendering of public service contracts should be open to all operators, should be fair and should respect the principles of transparency and non-discrimination.

This paper will analyze the new legal challenges will have to face the public service contracts in railway transport and what will be their impact in the process of liberalization o the EU passenger rail market.

I. Liberalization of the EU passenger rail market
II. Public service contracts
III. Defining Public Service Obligations in railway transport
IV. Tendering for future public service contracts

Expected results: Define the future framework that the national authorities will have to take into account to award the public service contracts in this sector.

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