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REPORT     ***I
PDF 192kWORD 306k
18 October 2001
PE 286.664 A5-0364/2001
on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on action by Member States concerning public service requirements and the award of public service contracts in passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway
(COM(2000) 7 – C5-0326/2000 – 2000/0212(COD))
Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism
Rapporteur: Erik Meijer
PROCEDURAL PAGE
 LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL
 DRAFT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AFFAIRS AND THE INTERNAL MARKET

PROCEDURAL PAGE

By letter of 13 September 2000 the Commission submitted to Parliament, pursuant to Article 251(2) and Articles 71 and 89 of the EC Treaty, the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on action by Member States concerning public service requirements and the award of public service contracts in passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway (COM(2000) 7 – 2000/0212 (COD)).

At the sitting of 13 November 2000 the President of Parliament announced that she had referred this proposal to the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism as the committee responsible and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market for their opinions (C5-0326/2000).

At the sitting of 1 February 2001 the President of Parliament announced that she had also referred the proposal to the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs for its opinion.

The Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism appointed Erik Meijer rapporteur at its meeting of 21 November 2000.

It considered the Commission proposal and draft report at its meetings of 5 February, 28 May, 9 July, 10 September and 10 October 2001.

At the last meeting it adopted the draft legislative resolution by 26 votes to 22, with 1 abstention.

The following were present for the vote: Konstantinos Hatzidakis, chairman; Rijk van Dam, Helmuth Markov and Emmanouil Mastorakis, vice-chairmen; Erik Meijer, rapporteur; Emmanouil Bakopoulos, Rolf Berend, Freddy Blak (for John Hume), Theodorus J.J. Bouwman, Carmen Cerdeira Morterero, Luigi Cocilovo (for Felipe Camisón Asensio), Gerard Collins, Paolo Costa, Danielle Darras, Francis Decourrière, Jean-Maurice Dehousse (for Rosa Miguélez Ramos), Garrelt Duin, Giovanni Claudio Fava, Jacqueline Foster, Mathieu J.H. Grosch, Mary Honeyball, Juan de Dios Izquierdo Collado, Georg Jarzembowski, Pierre Jonckheer (for Camilo Nogueira Román), Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Sérgio Marques, Linda McAvan (for Ewa Hedkvist Petersen), James Nicholson (for Philip Charles Bradbourn), Josu Ortuondo Larrea, Karla M.H. Peijs, Wilhelm Ernst Piecyk, Samuli Pohjamo, Adriana Poli Bortone, Bartho Pronk (for Francesco Musotto pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Alonso José Puerta, Reinhard Rack, Carlos Ripoll i Martínez Bedoya, Isidoro Sánchez García, Gilles Savary, Ingo Schmitt, Elisabeth Schroedter (for Reinhold Messner), Brian Simpson, Renate Sommer, Dirk Sterckx, Ulrich Stockmann, Ari Vatanen, Christian Ulrik von Boetticher (for Giorgio Lisi), Mark Francis Watts and Jan Marinus Wiersma.

The opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market are attached; the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy decided on 5 December 2000 not to deliver an opinion; the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs decided on 13 December 2000 not to deliver an opinion.

The report was tabled on 18 October 2001.

The deadline for tabling amendments will be indicated in the draft agenda for the relevant part-session.


LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL

Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on action by Member States concerning public service requirements and the award of public service contracts in passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway (COM(2000) 7 – C5-0326/2000 – 2000/0212(COD))

The proposal is amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission (1)   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 1

(1)   The development of the highest possible standards of public service in the provision of passenger transport by road, rail and inland waterway is one of the primary Community objectives under the Common Transport Policy.

(1)   The development of the highest possible standards of public service in the provision of passenger transport by road, rail and inland waterway is, as a means of boosting the use of sustainable forms of transport, one of the primary Community objectives under the Common Transport Policy.

Justification

The quality of public passenger transport cannot be considered in isolation, but is part of the initiatives that must be launched to bring public transport into line with demand, thereby making it competitive with other forms of transport and boosting the use made of sustainable means of transport.

Amendment 2
Recital 2

(2)   Competent authorities in the Member States have recourse to three main mechanisms in pursuing this objective: the conclusion of public service contracts with operators, the granting of exclusive rights to operators and the laying down of minimum standards for public transport operation.

(2)   Competent authorities in the Member States have recourse to three main mechanisms in pursuing this objective: the conclusion of public service contracts with operators, whether public or private, the granting of exclusive rights to operators and the laying down of minimum standards for public transport operation.

Justification

It must be made clear that the requirements for high standards apply to all operators, whatever their status.

Amendment 3
Recital 4 a (new)
 

(4a)   Procedures will be based on the principle of neutrality with regard to the rules governing property ownership under Article 295 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the principle of freedom to define services of general interest under Article 16 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, and the principle of proportionality under Article 5 of the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Justification

The Commission Communication of 20 September 2000 on ‘Services of General Interest in Europe’, (COM(2000) 580) underlined the importance of the above three principles for ensuring a high degree of legal certainty for the Member States and the relevant operators when providing services of general interest.

Amendment 4
Recital 5

(5)   Many Member States have introduced legislation providing for the award of fixed-duration exclusive rights and public service contracts, in at least part of their public transport market, on the basis of open, transparent and fair award procedures. In the light of those developments, the application of Community rules on the freedom of establishment, and the application of Community public procurement rules, significant progress has been made towards Community/EEA-wide market access in public transport. As result, trade between Member States has substantially developed and several public transport operators are now providing services in more than one Member State.

(5)   Many Member States have introduced legislation providing for the award of fixed-duration exclusive rights and public service contracts, in at least part of their public transport market, on the basis of open, transparent and fair award procedures. In the light of those developments, the application of Community rules on the freedom of establishment, and the application of Community public procurement rules, significant progress has been made towards market access in public transport throughout the Community and in third countries whose operators have obtained such access in practice as a result of the Community’s international obligations. As a result, trade between Member States has substantially developed and several public transport operators are now providing services in more than one Member State.

Justification

This amendment seeks to maintain consistency with Recital 30 and with Article 18 and Annex II of the proposal for a regulation.

Amendment 5
Recital 9

(9)   Article 16 of the Treaty establishes the need to ensure that services of general economic interest operate on the basis of principles and conditions which enable them to fulfil their missions. The development of competition should therefore be accompanied by Community rules that guarantee the protection of the general interest in terms of adequate quality and availability of public transport. In securing this general interest, it is important for consumers and interested parties to have at their disposal integrated information about the services available.

(9)   Article 16 of the Treaty establishes the need to ensure that services of general economic interest operate on the basis of principles and conditions which enable them to fulfil their missions. The development of competition should therefore be accompanied by Community rules that guarantee the protection of the general interest in terms of the availability in all regions of high-quality, reasonably priced public transport providing full coverage. In securing this general interest, it is important for consumers and interested parties to have at their disposal integrated information about the services available.

Justification

‘Adequate quality’ is too feeble and too unspecific. The general interest of local public transport needs stating more clearly.

Amendment 6
Recital 9 a (new)
 

(9a)   Passenger transport markets which are already deregulated and in which there are no exclusive rights should be allowed to maintain their characteristics and way of functioning.

Justification

There is no express provision in the regulation obliging the Member States in which there are already deregulated markets to move to controlled competition, nor is there an express provision stating that there is no such obligation. The aim of introducing this amendment, therefore, is to clarify and expressly state that there is, in fact, no such obligation.

The legal framework set out in the proposal is based on competitive tendering for public service contracts: namely, contracts for public service requirements, which are compensated, and the award of exclusive rights. This may be appropriate in markets where no degree of competitive efficiency has been achieved. However, in deregulated markets, where there are already competitive benefits, it is not necessary to go back to controlled competition.

Amendment 7
Recital 13

(13)   Studies and experience show that competitive tendering for public service contracts is an effective way of achieving the benefits of competition in terms of cost, efficiency and innovation without obstructing the performance of the specific tasks assigned to the operators in the general public interest.

(13)   Studies and experience show that competitive tendering for public service contracts can in many cases be an effective way of achieving the benefits of competition in terms of cost, efficiency and innovation without obstructing the performance of the specific tasks assigned to the operators in the general public interest.

Justification

There is no reason for declaring public tendering to be the only and best option. We must also bear in mind the snags and alternatives, so that the democratic system can make up its own mind for itself at the relevant level.

Amendment 8
Recital 14 a (new)
 

(14a)   The adjudication rules set out in Directives 92/50/EEC and 93/38/EEC do not apply to public service concessions.

Justification

Public service concessions are one of the categories of contract which are not subject to the adjudication rules set out in Directives 92/50/EEC and 93/98/EEC. This should therefore be made clear in this regulation.

Amendment 9
Recital 15

(15)   Tendering of public service contracts should not be compulsory where safety standards in the provision of rail services or the coordination of a metro or light rail network would be endangered. Interested parties should nevertheless have the opportunity to comment on plans to award contracts in this way, in time for their views to be taken into account. Where rail contracts awarded in this way are fully integrated with bus services, it should be possible for the bus services to be included in the same contract.

(15)   Tendering of public service contracts should not be compulsory where safety standards might be endangered in the provision of rail services or cost-effective operation or when, in the case of a metro or light rail network, due to the specific technical features of those services, it is impossible to tender single lines or groups of lines without undermining safety. Interested parties should nevertheless have the opportunity to comment on plans to award contracts in this way, in time for their views to be taken into account.

Justification

The introduction of a derogation to the principle of competitive tender in the field of metro or light rail networks can be authorised only when it is not possible, due to the technical features of those services, to break the system down into single lines or groups of lines.

Amendment 10
Recital 16

(16)   Tendering for public service contracts should also not be compulsory where the contract has a low value. This value should be higher for the tendering of a whole network than for the tendering of a part of a network or of a single route.

(16)   Tendering for public service contracts should not be compulsory where the contract has a low value. This value should be higher for the tendering of a whole network than for the tendering of a part of a network or of a single route.

Justification

Consequent upon deleting Recital 15.

Amendment 11
Recital 17

(17)   Taking into account the specific, commercially viable nature of certain parts of the public transport market, it should also be possible for competent authorities to facilitate new initiatives that arise from the market and that fill gaps not currently served by any operator, by granting an exclusive right to provide services on a particular route, where this is at the operator’s request. It is not inappropriate for this grant to be made without tendering, provided that it is for a strictly limited period only and is not renewable.

(17)   Taking into account the specific, commercially viable nature of certain parts of the public transport market, it should also be possible for competent authorities to facilitate new initiatives that arise from the market and that fill gaps not currently served by any operator, by granting an exclusive right to provide services on a particular route, where this is at the operator’s request. It is not inappropriate for this grant to be made without tendering, provided that it is for a strictly limited period only.

Justification

Unnecessary restriction of democratic assessment by the local or regional authority.

Amendment 12
Recital 18 a (new)
 

(18a)   The survival of direct operation by the authority concerned, by means of a company of its own, has in many cases proved its worth in winning the competitive battle against the car, meeting environmental and urban planning objectives, the expansion of tram and underground systems, the option of introducing free public transport, the ability of public representatives democratically elected for the sector concerned to respond rapidly and flexibly to constantly changing requirements, and counteracting the high government costs of planning, tendering and scrutiny. Hence the right of local authorities to opt for the permanent continuance of such companies alongside other kinds of companies deserves particular attention.

Justification

Some local and regional authorities have already opted for a non-commercial approach to their public transport, but emphasise that such transport is a provision of public service and welfare. From a subsidiarity point of view they should maintain that right.

Amendment 13
Recital 19

(19)   It should be possible for authorities to compensate operators for the cost of complying with minimum criteria for public transport operation, provided that this compensation can be fairly calculated and is not at such a high level that it detracts from the pressure on operators to focus primarily on the requirements of passengers.

(19)   It should be possible for authorities to compensate operators for the cost of complying with minimum criteria for public transport operation and for the costs or income losses arising from activities that boost the use made of public transport, provided that this compensation can be fairly calculated and is not at such a high level that it detracts from the pressure on operators to focus primarily on the requirements of passengers.

Justification

Public transport is one of the means of achieving a sustainable system of mobility. If decisions are taken by the authorities to introduce measures that boost the use made of public transport - with an adverse financial impact on the operator - it is only reasonable that they, and not the operator, should bear the costs.

Amendment 14
Recital 20

(20)   The provisions of this Regulation applicable to operators should also apply in those cases where public transport services are provided by a public administration which does not have a legal personality distinct from that of the public administration that is acting as the competent authority. Any other arrangement, by not applying these provisions to cases where the State acts in an entrepreneurial capacity, would not ensure the non-discriminatory application of Community law.

(20)   The provisions of this Regulation applicable to operators should also apply in those cases where public transport services are provided by a public administration which does not have a legal personality distinct from that of the public administration that is acting as the competent authority. In application of the subsidiarity principle, however, the competent authority’s right to arrange to provide transport services itself or with its own companies without a tendering procedure should continue to be upheld. This will take account of the case-law of the European Court of Justice in its judgments of 18 November 1999 (C-107/98) and 10 November 1998 (C 360/98).

Justification

The local authority body is responsible for local public transport services. So under the subsidiarity principle its freedom of choice should, subject to certain conditions, continue to be upheld.

Amendment 15
Recital 21

(21)   Studies and experience show that where services are provided under public service contracts whose duration is limited to five years, the performance of the specific tasks assigned to the operators need not be obstructed. To minimise the distortion of competition while protecting the quality of services, public service contracts should normally, therefore, be limited to this duration. However, longer periods may be necessary where the operator has to invest in infrastructure, railway rolling-stock or other vehicles that are tied to specific, geographically defined transport services and that have long payback periods.

(21)   Public service contracts of short duration can create problems in terms of the continuity of provision, investment and staffing. To minimise the distortion of competition while protecting the quality of services, public service contracts should be limited to no more than eight years for bus services and at most 15 years for rail services. This will give the competent authorities the flexibility required for adapting contract periods to local circumstances. In order to ensure that, upon expiry of the public service contract, the outgoing operator does not incur any losses on investments in assets required by the terms of that contract, the incoming operator should be required to compensate him to the value of any outstanding paybacks.

Justification

Longer contract periods create greater planning security for both operators and the competent authorities. Longer contracts can also result in more favourable tenders. For rail transport services there should be a higher maximum duration in view of the higher level of investment. In the interest of simplification, however, longer durations should not give rise to extra allowance for the period of amortisation.

This system, which is modelled on domestic Italian legislation, ensures that incumbent operators will not be left "out of pocket" - in terms of the investments they are required to make in assets - when their contract expires.

Amendment 16
Recital 23

(23)   Where it is appropriate for competent authorities, in pursuing the general interest, to protect employees in situations where the conclusion of a public service contract may lead to a change of operator, they should have the power to require operators to apply the relevant provisions of Council Directive 77/187/EEC of 14 February 1977 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the safeguarding of employees' rights in the event of transfers of undertakings, businesses or parts of businesses

Deleted

Justification

The reasons for this amendment are the same as for the amendment to Article 9(3), to which please refer.

Amendment 17
Recital 23 a (new)
 

(23a)   The provisions of this Regulation must ensure that small businesses can continue to secure market shares in local transport services.

Justification

In many Member States small businesses are a feature of the local transport market. To counteract tendencies towards concentration, which carry the risk of turning into a private oligopoly, there should be an appropriate small business component that will allow such businesses a fair chance in the face of increasingly fierce competition.

Amendment 18
Recital 24

(24)   It is necessary that the procedures introduced according to this Regulation are transparent and that appeals procedures against decisions of the competent authorities are in place. Authorities should also keep records of their decisions for a period of ten years, in line with the limitation period laid down in Article 15 of Council Regulation (EC) No 659/1999 on State aid procedures.

(24)   It is necessary that the procedures introduced according to this Regulation are transparent and that appeals procedures against decisions of the competent authorities are in place. Authorities should also keep records of their decisions for at least five years after the expiration of the contract, in line with the limitation period laid down in Article 15 of Council Regulation (EC) No 659/1999 on State aid procedures.

Justification

A formula should be found that allows the competent authorities to justify their actions without requiring records to be kept for excessively long periods.

Amendment 19
Recital 25

(25)   Regulation (EEC) No 1191/69 provides that operating costs and revenues, overheads, assets and liabilities relating to the fulfilment of public service requirements need to be accounted for separately. This requirement should be retained, in a modernised form, in particular to ensure that authorities obtain value for money from public expenditure and that payments made by way of compensation are not misused to distort competition.

(25)   Regulation (EEC) No 1191/69 provides that operating costs and revenues, overheads, assets and liabilities relating to the fulfilment of public service requirements need to be accounted for separately. This should not prevent or prohibit the use of funds for the provision of local public transport services, when such funds have been gained in fully liberalised markets. This requirement should be retained, in a modernised form, in particular to ensure that authorities obtain value for money from public expenditure and that payments made by way of compensation are not used to finance services other than those contractually agreed.

Justification

Operators must retain the freedom to choose how to finance transport services, as long as they do so transparently and fairly with funds that have been gained from free competition in a liberalised market, and not by means of a special allocation secured by, say, regulation or monopoly.

Clarifies the wording of the text.

Amendment 20
Recital 30

(30)   As a result of the Community's international obligations, access to the public transport markets of the Member States has, in some circumstances, been granted to certain third-country operators; this Regulation does not restrict this access.

(30)   As a result of the Community's international obligations, access to the public transport markets of the Member States has, in some circumstances, been granted to certain third-country operators; this Regulation does not restrict this access, provided that such operators comply with the obligations applicable in the Member State concerned in the matter of workforce, materials and management.

Justification

Looking ahead in particular to the accession of a number of countries to the EU, operators from those countries must have the option of supplying services within the EU provided that the operating conditions in force there are complied with.

Amendment 21
Recital 32 b (new)
 

(32b)   Moreover, one fundamental aim of the Regulation is to achieve a substantial shift from individual motorised modes of land transport towards more sustainable modes of inland transport.

Justification

Modal shift must be seen to be one of the aims of the regulation, which is not about competition as an end, but as a means only.

Amendment 22
Article -1 (new)
 

Article -1

 

The purpose of this Regulation is to improve the efficiency and attractiveness of local public passenger transport in the Community as part of an integrated transport policy committed to sustainable mobility, with due consideration for town planning and regional development.

Justification

There seems to be a need for an explicit restatement of the regulation’s aims in a separate article.

Amendment 23
Article 1

This Regulation shall apply to national and international operation of public passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway. It lays down the conditions under which competent authorities may compensate transport operators for the cost of fulfilling public service requirements and under which they may grant exclusive rights for the operation of public passenger transport, due regard being had to the pursuit of legitimate public service objectives within a framework of regulated competition.

This Regulation shall apply to national and international operation of local public passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway. It lays down the conditions under which competent authorities may compensate transport operators for the cost of fulfilling public service requirements and under which they may grant exclusive rights for the operation of public passenger transport, due regard being had to the pursuit of legitimate public service objectives within a framework of regulated competition. This Regulation shall not apply to long-distance railways which are the subject of Directives 91/440/EEC and 95/18/EC (“Railway package”), or to historic trains or trains operating on a non-profit basis.

Justification

The EP decided in its vote on the so-called first railway package to deal with long-distance transport of passengers by rail at international level within the “second railway package”, to be presented by the Commission before the end of this year. Concerning “heritage railways”, which in some cases fulfil public service obligations, we think it is reasonable to exempt them from this regulation, given their very specific characteristics and circumstances. It would be unfair if this regulation were to apply to historic railway or tramway services operating on a non-profit basis by the likes of foundations. Attention is drawn to the fact that a similar amendment was adopted to the Savary report (A5-0113/2000) on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system.

Amendment 24
Article 2

This Regulation shall be without prejudice to the obligations on competent authorities which flow from Directives 92/50/EEC and 93/38/EEC.

The provisions of this Regulation shall take precedence over Directives 92/50/EEC and 93/38/EEC with regard to the award of public service contracts by competent authorities under Article 5 of this Regulation.

Where either of those Directives makes the tendering of a public service contract mandatory, Articles 6(1), 7, 8, 12 , 13(1), 13(2) and 14 of this Regulation shall not apply to the award of that contract.

 

Justification

In their present wording Directives 92/50/EEC and 93/38/EEC are based on the WTO procurement agreement. Under the European Community’s Appendix I to the agreement (General Notes, point 6), contracts awarded by national, regional and local entities in connection with activities in the field of transport are not included in the scope of the agreement. So the Regulation can create rules independent from the two directives and thus create uniform legal framework for local public transport.

Amendment 25
Article 3, point (d)

(d)   ‘integrated services’ means rail and bus services provided together, directly by an operator under the terms of a single public service contract; by a single body of employees having the same contractual status; included in a single operating account and having a single information service, ticketing scheme and timetable;

(d)   ‘integrated services’ means rail and bus services or rail and ferry services, or rail, bus and ferry services provided together, directly by an operator, under the terms of a single public service contract; by a single body of employees having a single operational responsibility and management, a single information service, ticketing scheme and timetable, and

 

-   transport services provided by one or more operators on the basis of a contractual cooperation scheme using a community tariff, coordinated timetable and single information service;

Justification

To include ferry services within the definition of integrated services and to ensure consistency with the proposed amendment to Article 7(4), below. Integration can take place not only within a company but also through cooperation between several companies in a region. So the definition needs enlarging and clarifying.

Amendment 26
Article 3, point (d) second subparagraph (new)
 

'inland waterways' shall include rivers, canals, estuaries, short sea crossings between mainland points as well as other waterways according to regional specificity;

Justification

In some parts of the European Union, inland waterways form an important part of integrated transport networks. The regulation provides for such public transport but, as yet, it does not include any guidelines as to what constitutes an 'inland waterway'. This amendment is not intended to be definitive but to provide guidance.

Amendment 27
Article 3, point (e)

(e)   ‘operator’ means an undertaking that provides public passenger transport services and that is established under public or private law; or a part, which provides public passenger transport services, of a public administration;

(e)   ‘operator’ means:

 

(i)   an undertaking established under private law that provides public passenger transport services;

 

(ii)   an undertaking established under public law that provides public passenger transport services;

 

(iii)   a part of a public administration that provides public passenger transport services;

Justification

This division makes a clearer distinction between the different kinds of operators and is more consistent with the substance of Amendment 6 (Article 7).

Amendment 28
Article 3, point (g)

(g)   ‘public passenger transport’ means transport offered to the general public on a continuing basis;

(g)   ‘local public passenger transport’ within the meaning of the Regulation means generally accessible scheduled transport services offered to the general public on a continuing basis and intended to meet the demand for urban, suburban and regional transport;

Justification

As worded the definition covers all passenger transport including long-distance services. It must clearly distinguish between local and long-distance transport.

Amendment 29
Article 3, point (h), (ii)

(ii)   the terms that are attached to a decision taken by a competent authority, to entrust an operator forming part of the same public administration with the supply of services;

(ii)   the terms that are attached to a decision taken by a competent authority, to entrust the supply of services to an operator forming part of the same public administration, or an operator over whom the authority exercises regulatory powers that are comparable to specialist scrutiny and who carries on substantial parts of his activities by order of the authority;

Justification

Changing and extending the definition to add legally binding clarifications, to define the limits of the regulation with regard to the directives on the award of public contracts.

Amendment 30
Article 3, point (j a) (new)
 

(ja)   'persons with reduced mobility' means all passengers who have a particular difficulty when using public transport, especially elderly and disabled people (including people with sensory impairment and wheelchair users), and also including pregnant women, people with small children or people with heavy luggage. Reduced mobility does not necessarily imply any form of medical impairment.

Justification

This definition is proposed in order to clarify the meaning of the term ‘persons with reduced mobility’, which encompasses a broad range of persons..

Amendment 31
Article 4, paragraph 1

1.   In applying this Regulation, competent authorities shall secure adequate public passenger transport services that are of high quality and availability, by concluding public service contracts in accordance with Chapter III or by laying down minimum criteria for public passenger transport operation in accordance with Chapter IV.

1.   The application of this Regulation should encourage competent authorities to make provision for adequate consumer-oriented public passenger transport services that are of high quality and reasonably priced, providing integration, continuity, safety and full coverage, by concluding public service contracts in accordance with Chapter III or by laying down minimum criteria for public passenger transport operation in accordance with Chapter IV and by concluding service-level agreements with operators.

Justification

The securing of adequate public passenger transport services by the competent authorities can only be deemed to be a task that they assume voluntarily, and not a mandatory task. The latter would not be covered by the Community's legislative powers. Analogous to Amendments 89 and 145. An important objective of this regulation is to boost service provision in public transport so that it can compete on equal terms with other modes of transport. For that to be achievable, it will be necessary for supply to be brought into line with consumer demand. Service-level agreements should be provided for and the conditions for the award of operating licences should refer as clearly and explicitly as possible to quality of service for the consumer. Furthermore, some provisions have been deleted on the grounds that they are already covered by other amendments or are a matter of subsidiarity.

Amendment 32
Article 4, paragraph 2, introductory phrase

2.   In assessing the adequacy of public passenger transport services, in defining selection and award criteria, and in awarding public service contracts, competent authorities shall take into account at least the following criteria:

2.   In assessing the adequacy of public passenger transport services, in defining selection and award criteria, and in awarding public service contracts, competent authorities must take into account at least the following criteria:

Justification

Does not apply to English version.


Amendment 33
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (a)

(a)   consumer protection factors including the accessibility of the services, in terms of their frequency, speed, punctuality, reliability, the extent of the network and the service information that is provided;

(a)   consumer protection factors including the accessibility of the services, in terms of their frequency, speed, punctuality, reliability, the extent and capacity of the network and the service information that is provided;

Justification

The network must enjoy adequate capacity if an adequate standard of service is to be provided..

Amendment 34
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (b)

(b)   the level of tariffs for different groups of users and the transparency of tariffs;

(b)   the way in which the operator is able to work in agreement with the tariffs that are laid down by the competent authority, as well as the operator’s proposals for the level of tariffs for different groups of users and the transparency of tariffs;

Justification

Unless we change the wording it assumes that operators will themselves be setting tariffs that vary from and compete with one another. But in practice national, regional or local authorities set uniform tariffs for different operators.

Amendment 35
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (b a) (new)
 

(ba)   the level of costs of providing the public service that is licensed;

Justification

It is not the level of tariffs that must operate as a criterion. It is rather the cost of supplying the public service that is licensed. It will be for the regional or local authorities to determine whether they wish to pass on the full cost to the users or if they will give reductions to particular categories of users on the strength of social factors or mobility-related considerations.

Amendment 36
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (c)

(c)   integration between different transport services, including integration of information, ticketing, timetables, consumer rights and the use of interchanges;

(c)   integration between different transport services, including integration of information, ticketing, timetables, consumer rights and the use of interchanges in the geographical area covered by the competent authority and in relation to other operators designated by other competent authorities;

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment 37
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (e)

(e)   environmental factors, including local, national and international standards for the emission of air pollutants, noise and global warming gases;

(e)   environmental factors, including rational use of energy and local, national and international standards and norms, notably those pertaining to the emission of noise, air pollutants and global warming gases;

Justification

Rational use of energy is one of the environmental criteria.

Social standards of the employed are closely linked with the guarantee of quality of service and therefore should at least not become of lower level.

Transborder transport is a typical field of European Union responsibility and competence.

Amendment 38
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (e a) (new)
 

(ea)   the durability of public equipment and facilities,

Justification

The maintenance of fixed assets is a crucial factor, particularly in regard to safety, and should not be omitted from the proposed regulation.

Amendment 39
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (f)

(f)   the balanced development of regions;

(f)   the balanced development of regions and integration with long-distance transport systems;

Justification

This criterion is necessary for a smooth transition between local and long-distance transport.

Amendment 40
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (g)

(g)   the transport needs of people living in less densely populated areas;

(g)   the transport needs of people living in less densely populated areas and border regions;

Justification

With the introduction of this regulation cooperation in border regions between undertakings from different countries will become more difficult because the competent authorities may call for tenders only on their own territory. To prevent residents of border areas from being excessively disadvantaged, attention must be paid to cross-border connections.

Amendment 41
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (h)

(h)   passenger health and safety;

(h)   safety and health for employees and passengers;

Justification

Rational use of energy is one of the environmental criteria.

Social standards of the employed are closely linked with the guarantee of quality of service and therefore should at least not become of lower level.

Transborder transport is a typical field of European Union responsibility and competence.

Amendment 42
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (i)

(i)   the qualifications of the staff; and

(i)   the qualifications of the staff and the pay and other employment and social conditions at the place of performance of the services;

Justification

The additional criteria are required in order to prevent social dumping.

Amendment 43
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (i a) (new)
 

(ia)   the overall quality of the service provided to the consumer, and

Justification

Service-level agreements should be provided for and the conditions for the award of operating licences should refer as clearly and explicitly as possible to quality of service for the consumer. Furthermore, some provisions have been deleted on the grounds that they are already covered by other amendments or are a matter of subsidiarity.

Amendment 44
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (j a) (new)
 

(ja)   compliance by the operators, by the contract award date, with their social responsibilities in accordance with national and Community legislation, in particular commitments arising from collective agreements and commitments relating to workplace hygiene and safety;

Justification

Operators who shamelessly flout their social responsibilities may not be selected.

Amendment 45
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (j b) (new)
 

(jb)   the state of the rolling-stock and infrastructure and the maintenance and renewal thereof;

Justification

These additional criteria are essential for passenger safety and comfort.

Amendment 46
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (j c) (new)
 

(jc)   the capacity to maintain the rolling stock and all the equipment that ensures the day-to-day viability of the service;

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment 47
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (j d) (new)
 

(jd)   transborder regional interoperability in timetables, tariffs and service networks in general;

Justification

Rational use of energy is one of the environmental criteria.

Social standards of the employed are closely linked with the guarantee of quality of service and therefore should at least not become of lower level.

Transborder transport is a typical field of European Union responsibility and competence.

Amendment 48
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (j e) (new)
 

(je)   the scope of the operator's internal training;

Justification

Training activities by firms are a factor contributing to a high level of employment (an objective under Article 2 of the Treaty).

Amendment 49
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (j f) (new)
 

(jf)   guaranteed safety and efficiency of the operation.

Justification

Guaranteed efficiency of the operation is crucially important for high-quality local public passenger transport under regulated liberalisation, otherwise no consistency of service can be guaranteed.

Amendment 50
Article 4, paragraph 3

3.   Operators of public passenger transport services shall make available on request, complete and up to date information about the services’ timetables, their tariffs and their accessibility for people with different types of mobility handicap. The only charge they shall make be to cover the marginal administrative cost of providing the information.

3.   Operators of public passenger transport services shall make available on request, complete and up to date information about the services’ timetables, their tariffs and their accessibility for the different categories of people with reduced mobility. The only charge they shall make be to cover the marginal administrative cost of providing the information.

Justification

For passenger transport services to be accessible to persons with reduced mobility, in particular disabled people and older people, information must be available on request in accessible formats and in easy-to-read language in particular for persons with sensory impairment.

Amendment 51
Article 4, paragraph 3 a (new)
 

3a.   The competent authorities shall be entitled, exceptionally, to terminate contracts early in the event of non-compliance with the quality criteria listed in paragraph 2, including employment and social provisions and other criteria laid down by the competent authorities. This shall also apply if an operator fails to comply with the requirements pursuant to Article 9. Disputes about employment and social provisions shall not constitute grounds for exceptional early termination. Operators shall furnish comprehensive, up-to-date information about compliance with the criteria upon request.

Justification

Non-compliance with quality criteria or with social obligations must be recognised as providing grounds for exceptional termination of a contract.

Amendment 52
Article 5, paragraph 1

5.   A public service contract shall be concluded for the payment of all financial compensation for the cost of complying with public service requirements, including compensation taking the form of the use of assets where such use will be charged below market rates, but excluding compensation paid for compliance with general rules for public passenger transport operation in accordance with Article 10.

5.   A public service contract shall be concluded for the granting of all financial compensation for the cost of complying with public service requirements, including compensation taking the form of the use of assets where such use will be charged below market rates, but excluding compensation paid for compliance with general rules for public passenger transport operation in accordance with Article 10.

Justification

Adjustment to reflect German legal terminology.

Amendment 53
Article 6, point (a)

(a)   Contracts shall be put out for competitive tender, except as provided for in Articles 7 and 8.

(a)   Contracts shall be put out for a competitive award procedure, except as provided for in Articles 7 and 8.

Justification

The amendment seeks to reflect German legal terminology.

Amendment 54
Article 6, point (c)

(c)   Contracts shall be limited in time and shall last for no longer than five years. However, the duration of the contract may take into account the payback period, where:

(c)   Contracts shall be limited in time and shall last no longer than eight years for bus services and no longer than 15 years for rail services.

(i)   the contract makes the operator responsible for providing railway rolling-stock, other vehicles of a particularly technically advanced nature, or infrastructure, provided that such assets are tied to specific, geographically defined transport services; and

If, upon expiry of the contract, and consequently no later than the end of its eighth year, the total or a proportion of the payback on any investments in assets required by the terms of a public service contract remains outstanding, the competent authorities shall require the incoming operator to pay an indemnity to the outgoing operator.

(ii)   those assets have a payback period for the operator that is longer than five years.

This indemnity is calculated as the difference between the total cost of realising any investments in assets required by the terms of the expired contract and the amount of payback already returned to the outgoing operator.

In such cases, the contract shall also take into account the relative economic importance of the value of the assets in question in comparison with the total estimated value of the services covered by the contract

In situations where the payback period of these assets still has more than three years to run, the competent authorities may allow this indemnity to be paid in a series of instalments up to three years after expiry of the contract.

Justification

Longer contract periods provide greater planning certainty, both for operators and for the competent authorities. Longer-term contracts may also lead to lower-priced tenders, to the benefit of passengers. Where rail transport services are concerned, a longer maximum duration should be set on account of the greater investment involved. To make matters simpler, any additional consideration of the payback period should then be abandoned in the case of longer contract periods.

This system, which is modelled on domestic Italian legislation, ensures that incumbent operators will not be left ‘out of pocket’ - in terms of the investments they are required to make in assets - when their contract expires.

Amendment 55
Article 6, point (d)

(d)   Contracts shall require operators to furnish competent authorities, on an annual basis and separately for each route, with information on the services provided, the tariffs charged and the number of passengers carried and complaints received.

(d)   Contracts shall require operators to furnish the competent authorities with the information necessary to evaluate annually their overall performance. In view of this, contracts shall notably require operators to furnish the competent authorities, on an annual basis and separately for each route, with information on the services provided, the tariffs charged and the number of passengers carried and complaints received and safety-related questions, problems or incidents, and to make such information public and accessible free of charge.

Justification

The introduction of sanctions in the contract implies that the competent authorities are able to measure the overall performance of the operators. This is also necessary to enable competent authorities to adapt their policies in function of the evolution of the situation. Operators should also be required to report annually on all questions of safety in the operation of the various services and/or problems or incidents.

Amendment 56
Article 6, point (d a) new)
 

(da)   The contracts shall contain the provisions necessary to ensure the maintenance of the public assets made available to the operators and shall in particular specify the extent of their obligations as well as the obligations of the competent authority as regards the maintenance of such facilities (tunnels, railway infrastructure, stations and transfer points, depots and workshops etc.). It is important that the relationship between the competent authorities and operators be clearly defined in order to guarantee safety and legal certainty.

Justification

The maintenance of fixed assets is a crucial factor, particularly in regard to safety. In the interest of transparency as well as safety, contracts should specify what the obligations are of the operators as well as the competent authorities. With regard to maintenance, the relationship between the competent authorities and operators must be clear in order to guarantee safety and judicial certainty.

Amendment 57
Article 6, point (d b) (new)
 

(db)   Contracts shall clearly specify the penalties that shall be applicable for failure to comply with the requirements stipulated in the contract.

Justification

The competent authority would not be in a position to guarantee the quality of services if it was not in a position to impose penalties in the event of breach of contract.

Amendment 58
Article 6, point (d c) (new)
 

(dc)   Contracts may include an incentive system which encourages operators continually to improve their performance, their customer-friendliness and, above all, passenger revenue.

Justification

An incentive system may provide an additional stimulus for operators with a view to achieving the requisite increase in passenger revenue and reduction in individual transport by motor vehicle.

Amendment 59
Article 6, point (d d) (new)
 

(dd)   During the course of the contract the competent authorities may conduct negotiations with the selected operator with a view to improving the provision of the transport services covered by the contract. Such service improvements shall include, in particular, the provision of new stops or increased frequency of service.

 

Such improvements, negotiated during the course of the contract, may be awarded directly to the operator without competitive tendering provided that the value thereof does not exceed 20% of the value of the existing contract.

Justification

The needs of users or of the competent authorities may change in the course of a contract as a result of town-planning changes, e.g. as a result of new facilities such as sports halls, venues for public events, etc. being built, thus making it necessary to adapt local transport provision. Accordingly, it makes sense to provide a flexibility clause in order to avoid a new tender procedure in the course of an existing contract, provided that the value of the new services to be provided is not too high.

Amendment 60
Article 6 a (new)
 

Article 6a

 

Companies which have been registered as ‘area-bound’ by the competent authority responsible for their transport area and other companies in which the competent authority holds a stake of more than 20% shall not be allowed to participate in tender procedures for public service contracts in areas where the provisions governing regulated competition apply.

Justification

In this way the two types of firm, those tied to a specific geographical area and those which are commercial, will be properly protected against each other. Public funds may not be disbursed in order to obtain a competitive advantage in a public tender procedure organised outside the operator’s own transport area.



Amendment 61
Article 6 b (new)
 

Article 6b

 

1.   The competent authority may, in order to cater to the needs of the population, provide transport services within the terms of Article 7, paragraph 2 to 4, either by itself or with its own undertakings and for this purpose claim or grant exclusive rights. Own undertakings are undertakings in which the competent authority has a dominant influence and undertakings linked to such undertakings through a dominant influence.

 

2.   The competent authority may only provide transport services itself or with its own transport undertakings

 

   where the competent, democratically legitimated organ of representation has taken a corresponding decision;

 

-   where the transport service is restricted exclusively to the sphere of activity of the competent authority;

 

-   where the value of the subsidy does not exceed the value of the transport service;

 

-   where the transport service does not exceed a maximum catchment area of 50 km;

 

-   where the transport service is an activity pursued by the competent authority without the intention of making a profit;

 

-   where neither the competent authority nor its own transport undertaking is involved in competition for commercial transport services in accordance with Article 5.

 

3.   In the case of cross-border transport the competent authorities shall coordinate the provision of transport services with due regard to the criteria provided for in paragraph 2.

 

4.   Where a transport service is provided in the areas of activity of a number of competent authorities with due regard to the criteria set out in paragraph 2, the competent authorities shall coordinate the provision of transport services.

Justification

More weight should be given to the principle of subsidiarity in this regulation. Responsibility for local transport services on the ground lies with local authorities at communal level. The right of the competent authority to provide transport services itself or with its own undertakings without an invitation to tender should continue to exist under this regulation. In order to ensure democratic legitimation, economic efficiency and reciprocity the pre-conditions set out in paragraph 2 must, however, be fulfilled.

The European Court of Justice has specifically confirmed this right of local authorities in its judgments of 18.11.99 (C-107/98) and 10.11.1998 (C-360/96).

Amendment 62
Article 7, paragraph 1

1.   Competent authorities may decide, on a case-by-case basis and subject to paragraph 3, to directly award public service contracts for rail, metro or light rail services if national or international rail safety standards could not be met in any other way.

1.   Competent authorities may decide, on a case-by-case basis, to directly award public service contracts for metro and tram transport services if they consider this necessary for reasons of efficiency or safety or if legal or actual reasons stand in the way of an invitation to tender.

Justification

The possibility of further derogations in this article on the basis of the new Article 7a should be limited to what is absolutely necessary.

Amendment 63
Article 7, paragraph 2

2.   Competent authorities may decide, on a case-by-case basis and subject to paragraph 3, to directly award public service contracts for metro or light rail services if any other arrangement would entail additional costs for maintaining coordination between the operator and the manager of the infrastructure, and if those costs would not be offset by additional benefits.

Deleted

Justification

The possibility of further derogations in this article on the basis of the new Article 7a should be limited to what is absolutely necessary.

Amendment 64
Article 7, paragraph 3

3.   Competent authorities intending to award a contract under the provisions of paragraph 1 or 2 above shall publish, at least one year beforehand and in accordance with Article 13, their preliminary decision to do so and the evidence and analysis on which they have based this preliminary decision.

Deleted

Justification

It is in neither the letter nor the spirit of the Treaty that the Commission should become an agency to which all competent authorities (Member States or regional authorities) must apply for prior authorisation to exercise their freedom of administrative choice.

Amendment 65
Article 7, paragraph 4

4.   Where an operator, on the date on which this Regulation enters into force, directly provides integrated services, and where the conditions in paragraph 1 or 2 are fulfilled, the competent authority may include the operator's non-rail services, including bus services in the public service contract that will be directly awarded to the operator, provided that the Member State in question gives its approval and informs the Commission of this, with reasoned justification including appropriate comparative performance indicators.

Deleted

Justification

The possibility of further derogations in this article on the basis of the new Article 7a should be limited to what is absolutely necessary.

Amendment 66
Article 7, paragraph 5, subparagraph 1

5.   Competent authorities may decide, on a case-by-case basis, to directly award public service contracts for services with an estimated average annual value of less than EUR 400 000. If a competent authority incorporates all its public service requirements in a single public service contract, it may decide to directly award this public service contract provided that it has an estimated average annual value of less than EUR 800 000.

5.   Competent authorities may decide, on a case-by-case basis, to directly award public service contracts for services with an estimated average annual value of less than EUR 1 000 000. If a competent authority incorporates all its public service requirements in a single public service contract, it may decide to directly award this public service contract provided that it has an estimated average annual value of less than EUR 3 000 000.

Justification

The possibility of further derogations in this article on the basis of the new Article 7a should be limited to what is absolutely necessary.

Amendment 67
Article 7, paragraph 6 a (new)
 

6a.   Operators of public passenger transport services, and operators directly or indirectly controlled by them, shall not be authorised to participate in competitive tenders as provided for in Article 6 when they have been directly awarded public service contracts in their own country.

Justification

The amendment intends to guarantee the principle of reciprocity in the opening up of the market at European level.

Amendment 68
Article 7, paragraph 6 b (new)
 

6b.   Operators who are directly awarded public service contracts in application of paragraphs 1 to 4 of this article and who have been awarded financial compensation for expenditure incurred in meeting public service requirements, may not take part in the invitations to tender referred to in Article 6.

Justification

Operators benefiting from the direct award system should not be able to take part in invitations to tender, so as to avoid any possibility of cross-subsidies.

Amendment 69
Article 8, introductory phrase

A competent authority may, without tendering, award a public service contract for a service that is limited to an individual route and that will not be subject to financial compensation under the terms of any public service contract, provided that:

A competent authority may, without tendering, award a public service contract for a service that is limited to a group of routes and that will not be subject to financial compensation under the terms of any public service contract, having regard to Article 7(5) of this Regulation, provided that:

Justification

There is no need to restrict this option to individual routes. Groups of routes and whole networks should not be excluded from the option of direct awarding if there is no financial compensation under a public service transport system. To take account of the nature of some networks, especially metros, we need to point out that such systems cannot in practice be divided into smaller-scale units (route by route). Their operating conditions require very close coordination in the use of stations, routes and connections between routes. So there is a need to set up an exception here similar to the one in Article 7(4) of the proposal.
There is no evident reason why the procedure under Article 8 should be limited to individual routes. The German term for public service contracts needs amending to ensure that terminology and application are uniform.

Amendment 70
Article 8 a (new)
 

Article 8a

 

A competent authority may, without tendering, award an emergency contract for a reasonable period, not exceeding twelve months, if an existing service ceases to be provided and urgent measures are needed to ensure continuity of the service.

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment 71
Article 9, paragraph 1

1.   A competent authority may require the selected operator to award subcontracts, for a defined proportion of the services covered by the contract, to third parties to which it is not affiliated. This requirement to subcontract may not extend to more than half the value of the services covered by the contract.

Deleted

Justification

This provision would lead to artificial segmentation of the market and, in the railway sector at least, could lead to difficulties as regards practical application, in that it may not be possible when providing services to identify specific segments of the market for subcontracting.

Amendment 72
Article 9, paragraph 2

2.   A competent authority may decide not to award public service contracts to any operator that would, as a consequence, have more than a quarter of the relevant market for public passenger transport services.

Deleted

Justification

Competition legislation refers to market dominance ('significant power') and not to percentages. The European Parliament should not do so either. These matters are already covered by competition law from which we should not depart.

Amendment 73
Article 9, paragraph 3

3.   Where a public service contract includes an exclusive right, the competent authority may require the selected operator to offer to staff previously engaged in providing the services the rights that they would have enjoyed if a transfer had occurred within the meaning of Directive 77/187/EEC. The authority shall list the staff and give details of their contractual rights.

3.   Where a public service contract includes an exclusive right, the competent authority shall require the selected operator to offer to staff previously engaged in providing the services the same rights that they enjoyed before the selected operator took over. The authority shall list the staff and give details of their contractual rights.

Justification

As a guard against wage and social dumping there needs to be a mandatory requirement, because the option of a requirement, as the Commission proposes, will mean unwarrantable insecurity for the employees concerned. The reference to Directive 77/187/EEC does not do justice to the needs of employees either.

Amendment 74
Article 9, paragraph 4

4.   Competent authorities may require the selected operator to establish itself in the Member State in question, except where Community legislation adopted pursuant to Article 71 of the Treaty lays down the freedom to provide services. However, competent authorities awarding public service contracts shall not discriminate against potential operators established in other Member States on the grounds that they are not yet established in the Member State in question or have not yet been granted a licence to operate services.

4.   Competent authorities shall require the selected operator to establish itself in the Member State in question, except where Community legislation adopted pursuant to Article 71 of the Treaty lays down the freedom to provide services. However, competent authorities awarding public service contracts shall not discriminate against potential operators established in other Member States on the grounds that they are not yet established in the Member State in question or have not yet been granted a licence to operate services.

Justification

The selected operator should be required to establish itself in the Member State in question in order to ensure that social legislation of that State will fully apply.

Amendment 75
Article 10, point (a)

(a)   if the rule or criterion limits tariffs, it does so only for certain categories of passengers;

(a)   if the rule or criterion limits tariffs, it does so only for certain categories of passengers, especially trainees, schoolchildren and the disabled within the meaning of Article 3(j), or for transport services that contribute to fulfilling a social contract, such as serving less populous rural areas; or if the rule or criterion serves to harmonise tariffs in order to integrate different transport services within the meaning of Article 4(2)(c);

Justification

Compensation to harmonise tariffs in order to integrate different transport services has the aim of offsetting the extra income losses that operators would not have sustained without the integration of different transport services under Article 4(2)(c). Associations that are introduced in passengers’ interest often involve operators in financial loss that requires compensation. This amendment takes account of the function of local transport as a public welfare task.

Amendment 76
Article 10, point (a a) (new)
 

(aa)   in accordance with Article 15(3), operators which receive compensation must display the requisite transparency;

Justification

This regulation cannot be intended to limit the scope for local, regional or national authorities in the Member States to offer particular categories of traveller free or reduced-price public transport in accordance with their social policy or to take account of their specific mobility problems. However, in that case it is important that the accounting should be transparent and that the fares charged and the compensation received should be clear. We must ensure that the funds which operators receive to compensate them for the cost of abiding by certain minimum criteria are not transferred and used to finance other services.

Amendment 77
Article 10, point (b)

(b)   in any one year, the amount of compensation for complying with general rules or minimum criteria that is received by any operator in the area covered by the rule or criterion in question shall be no more than one-fifth of the value of that operator’s services in that area; and

Deleted

(See previous amendment: point (b) is incorporated in it)

Justification

This restriction hampers the charging of low fares or the provision of free public transport funded solely from tax revenue or other revenues generated by the public authority concerned.

Amendment 78
Article 10 a (new)
 

Article 10a

 

The competent authorities may impose local public passenger transport services on a transport company if this is essential to safeguard the adequate quality and quantity of a transport service, or to offer special tariffs for certain groups of passengers. This may in particular be the case if the tendering procedure does not produce a result, because within the period specified in the procedure no tenders are received or no tender meets the specified requirements, or if the selected operator cannot provide the service, or does not provide it in accordance with the agreements, as a result of insolvency or termination of contract by the contracting authority.

Justification

Safeguard clause to ensure there is an adequate supply of local public transport in exceptional cases.

Amendment 79
Article 12, paragraph 1

1.   The procedure adopted for competitive tendering or quality comparison shall be fair, open and non-discriminatory.

1.   The procedure adopted for competitive tendering or quality comparison shall be fair, open and non-discriminatory.

 

1a.   Tenders for a price (or value) lower than the cost price shall be prohibited, and may not be accepted by the awarding competent authority.

 

The same shall apply to tenders whose design and implementing arrangements do not comply with all the legal provisions applicable in the territory on which the service is provided.

 

1b.   The wording of tenders must be regulated, failing which they shall be inadmissible, by the awarding competent authority, so that they contain a detailed and reasoned description of arrangements for providing the routes and services tendered (covering the allocation of both human and material resources).

 

1c.   In the case of public passenger transport by road, the scale in terms of quantity of the routes or services put up for tender must be determined to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises are not in practice excluded.

Justification

It is important to specify the award procedures so as to be able to exclude automatically tenders whose content or implementing arrangements under Article 12(2) and (3) would be harmful to the proper running of the market.

Amendment 80
Article 12, paragraph 3, final subparagraph

There shall be an interval of at least 52 days between the despatch of the call for tenders and the latest date for receipt of tenders.

There shall be an interval of at least 52 days between the despatch of the call for tenders and the latest date for receipt of tenders. The competent authorities may negotiate with the operators on the tenders they have submitted.

Justification

The competent authority should be granted this right so that they can negotiate with the operator on the best offer for the region or city.

Amendment 81
Article 13, paragraph 2, subparagraph 1

2.   Competent authorities shall send to the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, by the most appropriate channels, notices and decisions relating to public service contracts and compensation schemes having an estimated annual value of, respectively, EUR 400 000 or more, or EUR 800 000 or more, for publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

2.   Competent authorities shall send to the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, by the most appropriate channels, notices and decisions relating to public service contracts and compensation schemes having an estimated annual value of, respectively, EUR 1 000 000 or more, or EUR 3 000 000 or more, for publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

Justification

Necessary in view of amendment of Article 7.

Amendment 82
Article 13, paragraph 3, point (c)

(c)   the information they hold, under the terms of public service contracts, about operators’ services, tariffs and numbers of passengers.

(c)   the information they hold, under the terms of public service contracts, about operators’ services, tariffs, numbers of passengers and the general trend in the quality of service.

Justification

Including this provision will make it possible to continually evaluate local transport in accordance with general quality principles.

Amendment 83
Article 13, paragraph 5

5.   Member States shall forward to the Commission, by the end of the month of March each year:

5.   Member States shall forward to the Commission, by the end of the month of March every second year:

(a)   a summary for the previous year of the number, estimated value and duration of the public service contracts that competent authorities have awarded, distinguishing between rail, bus and inland waterway services and between contracts awarded following tendering, quality comparison and direct award; and

(a)   a summary for the two previous years of the number, estimated value and duration of the public service contracts that competent authorities have awarded, distinguishing between rail, bus and inland waterway services and between contracts awarded following tendering, quality comparison and direct award; and

(b)   a summary of the scope and content of the general rules or minimum criteria that were in force during the previous year and for which compensation was provided, and of the amount of compensation paid.

(b)   a summary of the scope and content of the general rules or minimum criteria that were in force during the two previous years and for which compensation was provided, and of the amount of compensation paid.

Justification

In view of the amount of administration involved the Commission should provide this information only every two years.

Amendment 84
Article 14, paragraph 5 a (new)
 

5a.   In cases where there is a cross-border public service contract, the competent authorities from the different Member States involved shall agree between themselves which appeal body shall have jurisdiction.

Justification

Article 14(1) provides that Member States shall ensure that operators and other interested parties have the right to appeal to a public body against decisions and preliminary decisions of competent authorities under the proposal. However, neither this Article nor any other Article in the proposal clarifies which Member State’s appeal body has jurisdiction in cross-border public service contracts. This amendment introduces an obligation on the competent authorities of the different Member States involved in a cross-border service to agree which appeal body has jurisdiction.

Amendment 85
Article 14, paragraph 5 b (new)
 

5b.   If and in so far as it is not possible to award an intended public service contract because of the suspensory effect of legal proceedings, the service may be provided on the basis of a temporary permit (provisional service contract), if this is necessary to safeguard continuity of service in spite of the pending legal dispute.

Justification

In the event of legal proceedings there is a need to safeguard the provision of transport services in the interest of public passenger transport.

Amendment 86
Article 14, paragraph 5 c (new)
 

5c.   If a successful appeal is made against a preliminary decision of a competent authority, and if it would not be possible to award a new public service contract in accordance with the Regulation prior to the expiry of the existing arrangement, the competent authority shall be entitled to extend the existing arrangement until such time as it is possible to award a new public service contract.

Justification

It is proposed that provision be included in the Regulation to safeguard the continuity of service provision in the event of a successful appeal against a preliminary decision of a competent authority.

Amendment 87
Article 14, paragraph 5 d (new)
 

5d.   The provisions for the implementation of the appeals procedure shall be determined by the Member States.

Justification

It is proposed that provision be included in the Regulation for Member States to implement an appeals procedure.

Amendment 88
Article 15, paragraph 2, point (d)

(d)   for each activity, expenditure shall be balanced by operating revenue from the services in question and payments from public authorities in compensation for the cost of fulfilling the public service requirements in question, without any possibility of transfer to another activity.

(d)   for each activity, expenditure shall be balanced by the aggregate of the operating revenue from the services in question and payments from public authorities in compensation for the cost of fulfilling the public service requirements in question, without any possibility of transfer to another activity.

Justification

Drafting amendment to clarify the aim of the article.

Amendment 89
Article 16

Except in the case of public service contracts awarded through competitive tendering, competent authorities shall on no account provide more compensation or apply less stringent procedures than are required by the rules in Annex I.

1.   Competent authorities shall ensure that, in cases in which an operator is granted financial compensation other than within the framework of a public service contract awarded by public tender for fulfilling a public service requirement, the compensation matches the financial disadvantage arising from fulfilling the public service requirement.

 

2.   Costs resulting from the fulfilment of public service requirements shall be calculated on the basis of efficient management by the operator and the provision of transport services of an adequate quality.

 

3.   The amount of compensation shall be fixed in advance for the duration of the contract or compensation scheme, except in cases in which the contract or scheme may provide for the amount of compensation to be adjusted based on predetermined factors. Compensation amounts shall in any case remain fixed for a period of at least one year.

 

4.   Compensation for complying with public service requirements may be given only where the operators in question, if they were considering their own commercial interests, would not, in the absence of this compensation, fulfil the requirement or would not fulfil it to the same extent or under the same conditions.

Justification

Reference to an annex should be discarded. So the essential points of the annex are incorporated in the text of the regulation. The other rules set out in Annex I, which appear with similar content in the applicable Regulation No 1191/69, albeit in that case only for imposed forms of transport, must be dropped. But the limitation of compensation to the necessary proportion, arising from primary Community law, cannot be discarded. It is the Member States’ task to specify what that limit should be; hence a general form of words in paragraph 1 will suffice. The change in paragraph 3 is necessary for compensation provisions that lay down factors in advance.

Amendment 90
Article 17, paragraph 1

1.   Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that schemes, contracts or arrangements implemented otherwise than in compliance with the provisions of this Regulation cease to be valid within three years of its entry into force.

1.   Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that schemes, contracts or arrangements implemented otherwise than in compliance with the provisions of this Regulation are not extended after its entry into force, or cease to be valid no later than eight years after its entry into force. If an operator has been unable to rely on the validity of the scheme, contract or arrangement, that scheme, contract or arrangement must cease to be valid within three years of the Regulation’s entry into force. If an operator has been able to so rely, the relevant national provisions for approving a concessionary administrative act shall apply.

Justification

Operators who currently have valid authorisation were able to rely on its validity at the time of obtaining the contract. Their position cannot simply be undermined by the Regulation.

Amendment 91
Article 17, paragraph 1 a (new)
 

1a.   In order to ensure that the rule of reciprocity is applied in the opening up of markets and with regard to the different durations of the transitional period, participation in calls for tender issued in a Member State shall be restricted solely to operators which in the state of origin or another Member State exclusively perform services entrusted to them following a tendering procedure.

Justification

The aim of gradually opening up the market in local public transport services can be achieved on condition that reciprocal conditions apply in the opening up of the various national markets.

Amendment 92
Article 17, paragraph 1 b (new)
 

1b.   However, this Regulation shall not apply to contracts or arrangements entered into following a competition under procedures adapted to the provisions of Directives 92/50 EEC or 93/38 EEC prior to the adoption of this Regulation by the Commission on 26 July 2000.

Justification

To ensure the continuity of services, avoid high compensation payments and the diversion of resources from more important transport provisions, it is appropriate to exempt existing contracts or arrangements that have been entered into after a competition in accordance with Directives 93/38 EEC or 92/50 EEC.

Amendment 93
Article 17, paragraphs 2 and 3

2.   Where an operator, on the date on which this Regulation enters into force, is required by the terms of a public service contract to invest in rail infrastructure, and where the payback period of this infrastructure still has more than three years to run, the competent authority may add up to three years to the transitional period of three years fixed in paragraph 1, taking into account this payback period and the relative economic importance of the assets in question in comparison with the total estimated value of the services covered by the contract.

2.   Current schemes, contracts, arrangements or administrative acts that cease to be valid within the period referred to in paragraph 1 may be extended by the competent authorities up to the expiry of the said period by means of direct award.

3.   Until the date on which the schemes, contracts and arrangements referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 cease to be valid, each of them shall continue to be subject to those provisions of Regulation (EEC) No 1191/69 that applied to it before this Regulation entered into force.

3.   Schemes, contracts, arrangements or administrative acts that were agreed before 26 July 2000 and do not accord with the Regulation shall be valid for the period agreed.

Justification

The transitional measures in the Commission proposal do not meet the needs of the law or practice. Current schemes, contracts, arrangements or administrative acts that do not accord with the new regulation must on principle be valid for the period agreed – though only if they were concluded before the Commission published its proposal. This will provide sufficient confidence and protection for the companies concerned. Paragraph 3 is dropped as the proposed paragraphs 1 and 2 settle the matter conclusively.

Amendment 94
Article 17, paragraph 3 a (new)
 

3a.   Operators from countries which are subject to this Regulation but where its provisions are not yet being implemented shall not have the right to tender for public service contracts in other countries which are likewise subject to this Regulation and where its provisions are being implemented.

Justification

Differences in the rate of implementation of the provisions of this regulation must not give rise to any distortion of competition between operators from different countries. Operators from countries which have not yet implemented the provisions must therefore not be permitted to operate on markets in countries which have done so.

Amendment 95
Article 19, paragraph 2

2.   The Commission shall prepare a report within five years of its entry into force on how this Regulation has been applied in the Member States, and the consequences for passengers, and shall propose amendments to the Regulation if necessary. The report shall include an examination of the operation of the exemption established in Article 7(4).

2.   The Commission shall prepare a report within five years of its entry into force on how this Regulation has been applied in the Member States, and shall propose amendments to the Regulation if necessary. The report shall address the consequences for passengers and the personnel concerned, improvement of quality of services and employment trends in terms of quality and quantity.

Justification

There would seem to be a need to specify the report’s content more clearly.


Amendment 96
Annex I, point 9

Costs resulting from the fulfilment of public service requirements shall be calculated on the basis of efficient management of the operator and the provision of transport services of an adequate quality.

Deleted

The amount of compensation shall be fixed in advance for the duration of the contract or compensation scheme, with the exception that the contract or scheme may provide for the amount of compensation to be adjusted based on predetermined factors. Compensation amounts shall in any case remain fixed for a period of at least one year.

 

Compensation for complying with public service requirements may only be given where the operator in question, if it were considering its own commercial interests, would not, in the absence of this compensation, fulfil the requirement or would not fulfil it to the same extent or under the same conditions.

 
(See Article 16, Amendment 67)

Justification

The Annex is being incorporated into the text of the regulation.

(1)OJ C 365, 19.12.2000, p. 169.


DRAFT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on action by Member States concerning public service requirements and the award of public service contracts in passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway (COM(2000) 7 – C5-0326/2000 – 2000/0212(COD))

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2000) 7(1)),

–   having regard to Articles 251(2), 71 and 89 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C5-0326/2000),

–   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism and the opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (A5-0364/2000),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Asks to be consulted again should the Commission intend to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

(1)OJ C 365, 19.12.2000, p. 169.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The Commission considers that the recent emergence of transport companies that are not bound to a specific geographical area and operate in various Member States is the main reason for establishing its preference for ‘regulated competition’ in a new regulation. The rapporteur agrees with the Commission’s starting-point, that awarding transport areas to such companies should not depend on favouritism or judgments in the courts, but on objective standards and the principle of limited periods.

The most important debating point is whether there is still room, in addition to the significantly increasing number of multinational companies, for the long-term continuance of area-bound companies in towns and regions. For London, Paris, Vienna, a large number of German cities, and the whole of public transport in Belgium and Luxembourg, the unamended adoption of this proposal will have serious consequences.

Local authorities have in many cases in the past set up their own undertakings in order to safeguard continuity, improve quality and service provision, introduce innovations, improve working conditions, substantially reduce tariffs and keep better control over the award of large public subsidies to a loss-making industry. With the same aim they have also wholly or partially converted existing private companies. Including area-bound companies of this kind in the application of the rules proposed by the Commission threatens ultimately to put them out of business. Not because their work is poorer or more expensive, but because they can only survive provided that they obtain the resulting award of their domestic markets. If they lose the domestic market that was hitherto protected they will cease to exist, whereas a large company with several transport areas can offset the loss of one area by expanding elsewhere.

The rapporteur takes the view that there should be more types of competition than merely having private contractors compete for government subsidies. It also concerns the competition between private cars and public transport, between different kinds of transport companies and different kinds of government policy. Apart from the multinational companies, area-bound companies must also be able to continue, in particular in the case of integrated networks with light rail transport in large cities and other densely populated regions. Companies of this kind are important for the expansion of tram and metro services, winning the competition against the car, meeting the objectives of environmental care and urban planning, introducing free public transport and being able to react quickly and flexibly to the constantly changing aspirations of the democratically elected people’s representatives for the region concerned. They ensure that the local authorities preserve the know-how to negotiate with other types of companies and also help ensure that the authorities are not obliged to set up expensive new control machinery themselves. From the point of view of subsidiarity and democracy there is a need to ensure that the authorities responsible for public transport are not able merely to choose between different competing tenderers. There also needs to be a choice between a commercial model, involving tendering, and public ownership of the transport system as a public service provision. The democratic bodies of each competent authority should be able periodically to choose between the system that the Commission is proposing and another, different, system.

If two different kinds of company continue to co-exist they will keep one another up to the mark, their services can be compared and the pros and cons of each system are plainly visible to consumers and governments. To prevent the continuance of such companies from distorting the market outside their transport area, the rapporteur proposes that area-bound companies should not be able to participate in tender procedures elsewhere, by introducing a provision on reciprocity.


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS

12 June 2001

for the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism

on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation on action by Member States concerning public service requirements and the award of public service contracts in passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway

(COM(2000) 7 – C5-0326/2000 – 2000/0212(COD))

Draftsman: Pierre Jonckheer

PROCEDURE

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs appointed Pierre Jonckheer draftsman at its meeting of 8 January 2001.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 22 March, 10 April, 26 April and 12 June 2001.

At the last meeting it adopted the following amendments by 17 votes to1, with 15 abstentions.

The following were present for the vote: Christa Randzio-Plath, chairwoman; José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, second vice-chairman; Philippe A.R. Herzog, third vice-chairman; Pierre Jonckheer, draftsman; Richard A. Balfe, Hans Blokland, Hans Udo Bullmann, Harald Ettl (for Robert Goebbels), Jonathan Evans, Carles-Alfred Gasòliba i Böhm, Lisbeth Grönfeldt Bergman, Ian Stewart Hudghton (for the full member to be nominated), Christopher Huhne, Piia-Noora Kauppi, Christoph Werner Konrad, Wilfried Kuckelkorn (for Giorgos Katiforis), Werner Langen (for Othmar Karas), Astrid Lulling, Thomas Mann (for Amalia Sartori), Ioannis Marinos, Miguel Mayol i Raynal (for Alain Lipietz pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Fernando Pérez Royo, Alexander Radwan, Bernhard Rapkay, Karin Riis-Jørgensen, Olle Schmidt, Peter William Skinner, Charles Tannock, Marianne L.P. Thyssen, Helena Torres Marques, Bruno Trentin, Theresa Villiers and Karl von Wogau.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The proposal under consideration provides for an instrument which is well-balanced overall and which, with due regard for the principles of subsidiarity and neutrality, will help to give a boost to the public transport sector and regulate competition in that sector, whilst also giving Member States' competent authorities the possibility of drawing up the public transport policies best suited to their needs and taking account of environmental and social factors.

However, a number of improvements may be made to the proposal with regard to environmental protection, the protection of workers, the provision of information to users, competing operators and competent authorities, the continuity and quality of the public service, the maximum duration of contracts, the transitional period and various other points.

1.   Environmental protection

Firstly, reference should be made in the preamble to Article 6 of the Treaty, pursuant to which environmental protection requirements are to be taken into account in the definition of other Community policies, including transport policy. It should also be mentioned in the preamble that one of the proposed regulation's basic objectives is to help bring about a modal shift, i.e. from private cars and other motor vehicles to more sustainable modes of land transport.

Lastly, Article 4 should specify that rational energy use is one of the environmental factors to be taken into account by competent authorities, and that the latter must, in any case, ensure compliance with a standstill requirement as regards environmental performance. The quality comparison procedure should also take account of environmental criteria.

2.   Protection of workers

The protection of workers must be taken into account when opening up the sector to competition. Article 9(3) of the proposal essentially stipulates on this subject that: 'Where a public service contract includes an exclusive right, the competent authority may require the selected operator to offer to staff previously engaged in providing the services the rights that they would have enjoyed if a transfer had occurred within the meaning of Directive 77/187/EEC'.

It is laid down in the first subparagraph of Article 3(3) of the above Directive that, in the event of an undertaking being transferred, the transferee is to abide by the terms of the collective agreements which were binding on the transferor, until those agreements expire or until a new collective agreement has been concluded. The second subparagraph of the same article lays down that Member States may limit the time for which this requirement applies to a minimum period of one year.

In order to afford workers a reasonable level of protection in the context of liberalisation, it would be appropriate to strengthen the mechanism provided for in Directive 77/187 by making it clear in the Regulation that the competent authority may decide that the selected operator should be required, vis-à-vis workers previously engaged in providing the service, to abide by the provisions of collective agreements that were binding on the operator who has been replaced, even if the selected operator has concluded other agreements since taking on those workers, provided of course that such provisions are more favourable to the workers concerned. In such a scenario, however, competent authorities could not require compliance with such agreements for a period exceeding two years.

The competent authority's scope for making use of Article 9(3) in cases where the public service contract does not provide for an exclusive right should then be widened.

Moreover, it is advisable that competent authorities be made to require that the operator be established in the Member State in question, in order to ensure that the social legislation of that Member State is applicable to the workers concerned.

It should also be made clear in Article 9(5) that the competent authority is entitled to demand the information needed for application of Article 9(3), pursuant to which the authority is required to list the staff and give details of their contractual rights.

Lastly, it would make sense to insert in Article 4 a further mandatory criterion, namely past compliance by the operator with its social obligations deriving from legislation or collective agreements, and an option for competent authorities to take account of whether the level of wages and quality of working conditions the operator intends to offer its workers are sufficiently high.

3.   Provision of information to users, competing operators and the competent authorities

The proposal's provisions relating to the provision of information to persons who play a part in the public transport sector could also be improved (amendments to Articles 4(3), 6(d), 9(1), 9(5) and 13(3)(c)).

4.   Continuity and quality of the public service

Firstly, an amendment is proposed to ensure that public service contracts provide for penalties in the event of failure to fulfil the obligations they lay down and the obligations on operators to maintain publicly owned assets (Article 6).

Secondly, it is proposed that marketing, comfort, capacity and accessibility to all be added to the mandatory criteria set out in Article 4(2).

In Article 6(c), a mechanism authorising the competent authority to include a clause in the contract allowing it to unilaterally extend the contract by no more than six months where it has been prevented by factors outside its control from completing a procedure that has already been opened in accordance with the regulation, even if such an extension means that the contract's maximum authorised duration is exceeded.

Lastly, it is proposed that competent authorities be allowed to include amongst the minimum criteria set out in Article 10 a requirement for operators to give up to six months notice of their intention to discontinue the provision of a service they operate.

5.   Maximum duration of contracts

The maximum duration of contracts should be a raised from five to eight years, in particular owing to the need to encourage operators to make the necessary investments in developing a transport strategy and to ensure quality of service; this increase also makes it possible to ensure greater stability of employment for workers.

Nevertheless, there are grounds for stipulating that contracts may be of a longer duration where operators assume a substantial proportion of the revenue risk.

6.   Transitional period

In view of the actual situation in the sector, it would be realistic to increase the transitional period from three to five years, or even seven years, where a contract was the subject of a tendering or quality comparison procedure before the Regulation entered into force.

7.   Miscellaneous

Certain aspects of the quality comparison procedure (Article 8) also need to be clarified, in particular by stressing the requirement to compare environmental performance, as do certain aspects of the tendering procedure (Article 12). Article 9(1) on subcontracting is amended so make it clear that it is intended to protect SMEs and reduce the risks of nepotism.

The principle of derogations (Article 7) is very important, as it means that account can be taken of specific situations where the tendering procedure is manifestly inadequate. However, this element of flexibility should be offset by an element of certainty, which ought to take the form of a system whereby the Commission grants authorisation, on the basis of guidelines it lays down, for the use of the direct award procedure.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs calls on the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission(1)   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 21

(21)   Studies and experience show that where services are provided under public service contracts whose duration is limited to five years, the performance of the specific tasks assigned to the operators need not be obstructed. To minimise the distortion of competition while protecting the quality of services, public service contracts should normally, therefore, be limited to this duration. However, longer periods may be necessary where the operator has to invest in infrastructure, railway rolling-stock or other vehicles that are tied to specific, geographically defined transport services and that have long payback periods.

(21)   Where services are provided under public service contracts whose duration is limited to eight years, the performance of the specific tasks assigned to the operators need not be obstructed. To minimise the distortion of competition while protecting the quality of services, public service contracts should normally, therefore, be limited to this duration. However, longer periods may be necessary where the operator carries a substantial part of the revenue risk, or where he has to invest in infrastructure, railway rolling-stock or other vehicles that are tied to specific, geographically defined transport services and that have long payback periods.

Justification

If the duration of the contract is too short, this does not encourage the operator to make the investments necessary to develop an adequate transport concept and to ensure the quality of the service. Moreover the duration of the contract influences the stability of the employees' situation. Contracts of longer duration should be allowed when the operator carries a substantial part of the revenue risk.

Amendment 2
Recital 32 b (new)
 

(32b)   Moreover, one fundamental aim of the regulation is to achieve a substantial shift from individual motorised modes of land transport towards more sustainable modes of inland transport.

Justification

Modal shift must be seen to be one of the aims of the regulation, which is not about competition as en end, but as a means only.

Amendment 3
Article 2, paragraph 2

Where either of those Directives makes the tendering of a public service contract mandatory, Articles 6(1), 7, 8, 12, 13 (1), 13(2) and 14 of this Regulation shall not apply to the award of that contract.

Where either of those Directives makes the tendering of a public service contract mandatory, Articles 6(a), 7, 8, 12, 13 (1), 13(2) and 14 of this Regulation shall not apply to the award of that contract.

Justification

Article 6(1) does not exist.

Amendment 4
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (a)

(a)   consumer protection factors including the accessibility of the services, in terms of their frequency, speed, punctuality, reliability, the extent of the network and the service information that is provided;

(a)   consumer protection factors including the accessibility of the services, in terms of their frequency, speed, punctuality, reliability, the extent and capacity of the network and the service information that is provided;

Justification

The network must have a sufficient capacity in order for it to allow an adequate service to be provided.

Amendment 5
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (j a) (new)
 

(ja)   respect by the operator, up to the date of the award, of its social obligations under national and Community law, including those deriving from collective agreements, and those pertaining to industrial hygiene and safety;

Justification

Operators which blatantly violate their social obligations should not be allowed to be selected.

Amendment 6
Article 4, paragraph 3

3.   Operators of public passenger transport services shall make available, on request, complete and up to date information about the services' timetables, their tariffs and their accessibility for people with different types of mobility handicap. The only charge they shall make shall be to cover the marginal administrative cost of providing the information.

Operators of public passenger transport services shall immediately make available, on request, complete and up to date information about the types of services available, their timetables, their tariffs and their accessibility for people with different types of mobility handicap. The only charge they shall make shall be to cover the marginal administrative cost of providing the information.

Justification

Information should be provided immediately, and it should notably concern the types of services available as a whole.

Amendment 7
Article 6, point (c), introductory phrase

(c )   Contracts shall be limited in time and shall last for no longer than five years. However, the duration of the contract may take into account the payback period, where:

(c)   Contracts shall be limited in time and shall last for no longer than eight years. However, the duration of the contract may take into account the payback period, where:

Justification

See Amendment 1.

Amendment 8
Article 6, point (c), final subparagraph (new)
 

Contracts may include an emergency clause that the competent authority may invoke, if it has initiated a procedure in accordance with this regulation to award a new contract for providing services covered by the contract in question, but has been prevented by factors outside its control from complementing this procedure in time to secure the continuous provision of these services. Such an emergency clause may permit the competent authority to unilaterally extend the validity of the contract in question by up to six months, even if this leads to the contract lasting longer than the otherwise applicable limit.

Justification

The clause in question is a very frequent one in public service contracts; it should be possible to resort to its use even if this leads to the contract lasting longer than the otherwise applicable limit.

Amendment 9
Article 6, point (d)

(d)   Contracts shall require operators to furnish competent authorities, on an annual basis and separately for each route, with information on the services provided, the tariffs charged and the number of passengers carried and complaints received.

(d)   Contracts shall require operators to furnish competent authorities with the information necessary to annually evaluate their overall performance. In view of this, contracts shall notably require operators to furnish the competent authorities, on an annual basis and separately for each route, with information on the services provided, the tariffs charged and the number of passengers carried and complaints received.

Justification

The introduction of sanctions in the contract implies that the competent authorities are able to measure the overall performance of the operators. This is also necessary to enable competent authorities to adapt their policies in function of the evolution of the situation.

Amendment 10
Article 6, point (d b) (new)
 

(db)   Contracts shall specify the penalties in the event of failure to comply with their provisions.

Justification

The competent authority would not be able to guarantee the quality of the service if it were not in a position to impose penalties in the event of a breach of the contract.

Amendment 11
Article 7, paragraph 3

3.   Competent authorities intending to award a contract under the provisions of paragraph 1 or 2 above shall publish, at least one year beforehand and in accordance with article 13, their preliminary decision to do so and the evidence and analysis on which they have based this preliminary decision.

3.   Competent authorities intending to award a contract under the provisions of paragraph 1 or 2 above shall give public notice, at least one year beforehand and in accordance with article 13, of their intention to do so, with an adequate description of the evidence and analysis on which they have based this preliminary decision. They shall at the same time notify their intention, together with the aforementioned evidence and analysis, to the Commission. The award of the contract under the provisions of paragraphs 1, 2 or 4 shall be subject to the authorisation of the Commission, which shall take a decision within one month from the notification.

Justification

The flexibility provided for in Article 7 must be compensated by an element of certainty, namely the requirement for authorisation by the Commission, on the basis of guidelines to be determined by it.

Amendment 12
Article 7, paragraph 4

4.   Where an operator, on the date on which this Regulation enters into force, directly provides integrated services, and where the conditions in paragraph 1 or 2 are fulfilled, the competent authority may include the operator's non-rail services, including bus services in the public service contract that will be directly awarded to the operator, provided that the Member State in question gives its approval and informs the Commission of this, with reasoned justification including appropriate comparative performance indicators.

4.   Where an operator, on the date on which this Regulation enters into force, directly provides integrated services, and where the conditions in paragraph 1 or 2 are fulfilled, the competent authority may include the operator's non-rail services, including bus and waterway services in the public service contract that will be directly awarded to the operator, provided that the Member State in question gives its approval and informs the Commission of this, with reasoned justification including appropriate comparative performance indicators.

Justification

Waterway services should also be included in this article

Amendment 13
Article 7, paragraph 6, subparagraph 1

6.   If an operator proposes a new initiative that will provide a service where none exists, the competent authority may award the exclusive right to provide this new service directly to that operator, provided that the service will not be subject to financial compensation under the terms of any public service contract.

6.   If an operator proposes a new initiative that will provide a service, limited to one route, where none exists, the competent authority may award the exclusive right to provide this new service directly to that operator, provided that the service will not be subject to financial compensation under the terms of any public service contract.

Justification

Clarification in conformity with the wording of Article 8.

Amendment 14
Article 9, paragraph 1

1.   A competent authority may require the selected operator to award subcontracts, for a defined proportion of the services covered by the contract, to third parties to which it is not affiliated. This requirement to subcontract may not extend to more than half the value of the services covered by the contract.

1.   A competent authority may require the selected operator to award subcontracts, for a defined proportion of the services covered by the contract, to small or medium-sized enterprises to which it is not affiliated, This requirement to subcontract may not extend to more than half the value of the services covered by the contract.

Justification

It has to be made clear that the purpose of Article 9 (1) is to leave room for SMEs on the market.

Amendment 15
Article 9, paragraph 2

2.   A competent authority may decide not to award public service contracts to any operator that would, as a consequence, have more than a quarter of the relevant market for public passenger transport services.

Deleted

Justification

Competition legislation refers to market dominance ('significant power') and not to percentages. The European Parliament should not do so either. These matters are already covered by competition law from which we should not depart.

Amendment 16
Article 17, paragraph 1

1.   Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that schemes, contracts or arrangements implemented otherwise than in compliance with the provisions of this Regulation cease to be valid within three years of its entry into force.

1.   Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that schemes, contracts or arrangements implemented otherwise than in compliance with the provisions of this Regulation cease to be valid within five years of its entry into force.

Justification

The reality of the transport sector is such that the transition period should be of five years, not three.

Amendment 17
Article 17, paragraph 2

2.   Where an operator, on the date on which this regulation enters into force, is required by the terms of a public service contract to invest in rail infrastructure, and where the payback period of this infrastructure still has more than three years to run, the competent authority may add up to three years to the transitional period of three years fixed in paragraph 1, taking into account this payback period and the relative economic importance of the assets in question in comparison with the total estimated value of the services covered by the contract.

2.   Where an operator, on the date on which this regulation enters into force, is required by the terms of a public service contract to invest in rail infrastructure, and where the payback period of this infrastructure still has more than five years to run, or more than seven years in case competitive tender has been resorted to, the competent authority may add up to three years to the transitional period as determined in paragraph 1, taking into account this payback period and the relative economic importance of the assets in question in comparison with the total estimated value of the services covered by the contract.

Justification

Is a consequence of Amendment 16. It is reasonable to grant a longer transitional period to contracts already awarded under a competitive procedure before the entry into force of the regulation, since such a procedure is more conform to the spirit of the regulation than a non-competitive procedure.

(1)OJ C 365 E, 19.12.2000, p. 169.


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AFFAIRS AND THE INTERNAL MARKET

23 April 2001

for the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on action by Member States concerning public service requirements and the award of public service contracts in passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway

(COM(2000) 7 – C5-0326/2000 – 2000/0212(COD))

Draftsman: Philip Charles Bradbourn

PROCEDURE

The Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market appointed Philip Charles Bradbourn draftsman at its meeting of 22 November 2000.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 5 February, 19 March and 11 April 2001.

At the last meeting it adopted the following amendments by 15 votes to 9, with 1 abstention.

The following were present for the vote: Ana Palacio Vallelersundi, chairman; Willi Rothley, vice-chairman; Rainer Wieland and Ward Beysen, vice-chairmen; Philip Charles Bradbourn, draftsman; Bert Doorn, Evelyne Gebhardt, Gerhard Hager, Malcolm Harbour, Heidi Anneli Hautala, The Lord Inglewood, Ioannis Koukiadis, Kurt Lechner, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, Neil MacCormick, Hans-Peter Mayer, Arlene McCarthy, Manuel Medina Ortega, Bill Miller, Gary Titley, Feleknas Uca, Diana Wallis, Joachim Wuermeling and Stefano Zappalà, (Francesco Fiori for Antonio Tajani and Elisabeth Jeggle for Angelika Niebler, pursuant to Rule 153(2)).

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market calls on the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission(1)   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 1a (new)
 

(1a)   These high-quality standards are established within a twofold context:

 

-   safety of passengers and transport operators;

 

-   provision of an optimum service for the user at the lowest possible price.

Justification

The emergence of a single European market in public transport services (see Explanatory Memorandum, page 1) means that the major requirements of a public transport service must be mentioned.

Amendment 2
Recital 2

(2)   Competent authorities in the Member States have recourse to three main mechanisms in pursuing this objective: the conclusion of public service contracts with operators, the granting of exclusive rights to operators and the laying down of minimum standards for public transport operation.

(2)   Competent authorities in the Member States have recourse to three main mechanisms in pursuing this objective: the conclusion of public service contracts with operators, whether public or private, the granting of exclusive rights to operators and the laying down of minimum standards for public transport operation.

Justification

It must be made clear that the requirements for high standards apply to all operators, whatever their status.

Amendment 3
Recital 15

(15)   Tendering of public service contracts should not be compulsory where safety standards in the provision of rail services or the coordination of a metro or light rail network would be endangered. Interested parties should nevertheless have the opportunity to comment on plans to award contracts in this way, in time for their views to be taken into account. Where rail contracts awarded in this way are fully integrated with bus services, it should be possible for the bus services to be included in the same contract.

Deleted

Justification

This amendment, and the related amendment to Article 7 (Amendment 9), is designed to ensure that operators from other Member States are not precluded from providing services where rail and bus services are integrated. It would be inequitable and contrary to Internal Market principles to have such a situation in which operators of integrated services were protected in their home Member States, but not precluded from competing for contracts in Member States in which the public transport market had been more fully liberalised.

Amendment 4
Recital 21

(21)   Studies and experience show that where services are provided under public service contracts whose duration is limited to five years, the performance of the specific tasks assigned to the operators need not be obstructed. To minimise the distortion of competition while protecting the quality of services, public service contracts should normally, therefore, be limited to this duration. However, longer periods may be necessary where the operator has to invest in infrastructure, railway rolling-stock or other vehicles that are tied to specific, geographically defined transport services and that have long payback periods.

(21)   Studies and experience show that where services are provided under public service contracts whose duration is limited to seven years, the performance of the specific tasks assigned to the operators need not be obstructed. To minimise the distortion of competition while protecting the quality of services, public service contracts should normally, therefore, be limited to this duration. However, longer periods may be necessary where the operator has to invest in infrastructure, railway rolling-stock or other vehicles that are tied to specific, geographically defined transport services and that have long payback periods. Nothing in this Regulation shall restrict the ability of contractors to negotiate "flexibility" arrangements for the services provided within the agreed contract period.

Justification

This amendment, and the related amendment to Article 6 (Amendment 8), is prompted by the concern that five years would be wholly inadequate for contracts concerned with the operation of heavy rail, metro or tramway systems in view of the investment requiring to be made in such cases. It is also designed to ensure that the subsidiarity principle applies.

Amendment 5
Article 1

This Regulation shall apply to national and international operation of public passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway. It lays down the conditions under which competent authorities may compensate transport operators for the cost of fulfilling public service requirements and under which they may grant exclusive rights for the operation of public passenger transport, due regard being had to the pursuit of legitimate public service objectives within a framework of regulated competition.

This Regulation shall apply to national and international operation of public passenger transport by rail, road and inland waterway. It lays down the conditions under which competent authorities may compensate transport operators for the cost of fulfilling public service requirements and under which they may grant exclusive rights for the operation of public passenger transport, due regard being had to the pursuit of legitimate public service objectives within a framework of regulated competition. It shall not apply to historic rail services or to rail services run on a non-profit-making basis.

Justification

It would be inappropriate for this regulation to apply to historic rail services or to rail services run on a non-profit-making basis by trusts, etc. It should be noted that an amendment on similar lines was adopted in the Savary Report (A5-0113/2000) on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on the interoperability of trans-European conventional rail systems.

Amendment 6
Article 4, paragraphs 1 and 2

1.   In applying this Regulation, competent authorities shall secure adequate public passenger transport services that are of high quality and availability, by concluding public service contracts in accordance with Chapter III or by laying down minimum criteria for public passenger transport operation in accordance with Chapter IV.

1.   In applying this Regulation, competent authorities shall secure adequate public passenger transport services that are of high quality and availability, by concluding public service contracts in accordance with Chapter III or by laying down minimum criteria for public passenger transport operation in accordance with Chapter IV, and by concluding service-level agreements with operators.

2.   In assessing the adequacy of public passenger transport services, in defining selection and award criteria, and in awarding public service contracts, competent authorities shall take into account at least the following criteria:

2.   In assessing the adequacy of public passenger transport services, in defining selection and award criteria, and in awarding public service contracts, competent authorities shall take into account at least the following criteria:

(a)   consumer protection factors including the accessibility of the services, in terms of their frequency, speed, punctuality, reliability, the extent of the network and the service information that is provided;

(a)   consumer protection factors including the accessibility of the services, in terms of their frequency, speed, punctuality, reliability, the extent of the network and the service information that is provided;

(b)   the level of tariffs for different groups of users and the transparency of tariffs;

(b)   the transparency of tariffs;

(c)   integration between different transport services, including integration of information, ticketing, timetables, consumer rights and the use of interchanges;

(c)   integration between different transport services;

(d)   accessibility for people with reduced mobility;

(d)   accessibility for people with reduced mobility;

(e)   environmental factors, including local, national and international standards for the emission of air pollutants, noise and global warming gases;

(e)   environmental factors, including local, national and international standards;

(f)   the balanced development of regions;

(f)   Deleted

(g)   the transport needs of people living in less densely populated areas;

(g)   Deleted

(h)   passenger health and safety;

(f)   passenger health and safety;

(i)   the qualifications of the staff; and

(g)   the qualifications of the staff;

(j)   how complaints are handled, disputes between passengers and operators are resolved and service shortfalls are redressed.

(h)   the overall quality of the service provided to the consumer, and

 

(i)   how complaints are handled, disputes between passengers and operators are resolved and service shortfalls are redressed.

Justification

Service-level agreements should be provided for and the conditions for the award of operating licences should refer as clearly and explicitly as possible to quality of service for the consumer. Furthermore, some provisions have been deleted on the grounds that they are already covered by other amendments or are a matter of subsidiarity.

Amendment 7
Article 4, paragraph 3

3.   Operators of public passenger transport services shall make available, on request, complete and up to date information about the services’ timetables, their tariffs and their accessibility for people with different types of mobility handicap. The only charge they shall make shall be to cover the marginal administrative cost of providing the information.

3.   Operators of public passenger transport services shall make available in accessible formats, on request, complete and up to date information about the services’ timetables, their tariffs and their accessibility for people with different types of mobility handicap. The only charge they shall make shall be to cover the marginal administrative cost of providing the information.

Justification

For passenger transport services to be accessible to persons with reduced mobility, in particular disabled people and older people, information must be available on request in accessible formats and in easy-to-read language in particular for persons with sensory impairment.

Amendment 8
Article 6, point (c)

(c)   Contracts shall be limited in time and shall last for no longer than five years. However, the duration of the contract may take into account the payback period, where:

(c)   Contracts shall be limited in time and shall last for no longer than seven years. However, the duration of the contract may take into account the payback period, where:

(i)   the contract makes the operator responsible for providing railway rolling-stock, other vehicles of a particularly technically advanced nature, or infrastructure, provided that such assets are tied to specific, geographically defined transport services; and

(i)   the contract makes the operator responsible for providing railway rolling-stock, other vehicles of a particularly technically advanced nature, or infrastructure, provided that such assets are tied to specific, geographically defined transport services; and

(ii)   those assets have a payback period for the operator that is longer than five years.

(ii)   those assets have a payback period for the operator that is longer than seven years.

In such cases, the contract shall also take into account the relative economic importance of the value of the assets in question in comparison with the total estimated value of the services covered by the contract.

In such cases, the contract shall also take into account the relative economic importance of the value of the assets in question in comparison with the total estimated value of the services covered by the contract.

Justification

See the justification for Amendment 4.

Amendment 9
Article 7

1.   Competent authorities may decide, on a case-by-case basis and subject to paragraph 3, to directly award public service contracts for rail, metro or light rail services if national or international rail safety standards could not be met in any other way.

Deleted

2.   Competent authorities may decide, on a case-by-case basis and subject to paragraph 3, to directly award public service contracts for metro or light rail services if any other arrangement would entail additional costs for maintaining coordination between the operator and the manager of the infrastructure, and if those costs would not be offset by additional benefits.

Deleted

3.   Competent authorities intending to award a contract under the provisions of paragraph 1 or 2 above shall publish, at least one year beforehand and in accordance with Article 13, their preliminary decision to do so and the evidence and analysis on which they have based this preliminary decision.

Deleted

4.   Where an operator, on the date on which this Regulation enters into force, directly provides integrated services, and where the conditions in paragraph 1 or 2 are fulfilled, the competent authority may include the operator's non-rail services, including bus services in the public service contract that will be directly awarded to the operator, provided that the Member State in question gives its approval and informs the Commission of this, with reasoned justification including appropriate comparative performance indicators.

Deleted

5.   Competent authorities may decide, on a case-by-case basis, to directly award public service contracts for services with an estimated average annual value of less than EUR 400 000. If a competent authority incorporates all its public service requirements in a single public service contract, it may decide to directly award this public service contract provided that it has an estimated average annual value of less than EUR 800 000.

1.   Competent authorities may decide, on a case-by-case basis, to directly award public service contracts for services with an estimated average annual value of less than EUR 250 000.

No requirement for a given amount of services shall be split up in order to avoid tendering.

No requirement for a given amount of services shall be split up in order to avoid tendering.

6.   If an operator proposes a new initiative that will provide a service where none exists, the competent authority may award the exclusive right to provide this new service directly to that operator, provided that the service will not be subject to financial compensation under the terms of any public service contract.

2.   If an operator proposes a new initiative that will provide a service where none exists, the competent authority may award the exclusive right to provide this new service directly to that operator for no longer than one contract period of seven years, provided that the service will not be subject to financial compensation under the terms of any public service contract.

No service may be the subject of the direct award of a public service contract under the terms of the first subparagraph more than once.

No service may be the subject of the direct award of a public service contract under the terms of the first subparagraph more than once.

Justification

See justification for Amendment 3. Furthermore, the de minimis level of EUR 400 000 is too high.

Amendment 10
Article 8 a (new)
 

Article 8 a

 

A competent authority may, without tendering, award an emergency contract for a reasonable period not exceeding twelve months where an existing service is withdrawn and urgent action needs to be taken to ensure continuity of service.

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment 11
Article 9, paragraph 1

1.   A competent authority may require the selected operator to award subcontracts, for a defined proportion of the services covered by the contract, to third parties to which it is not affiliated. This requirement to subcontract may not extend to more than half the value of the services covered by the contract.

1.   A competent authority may authorise the selected operator to award subcontracts, for a defined proportion of the services covered by the contract, to third parties to which it is not affiliated. This authorisation to subcontract may not extend to more than half the value of the services covered by the contract.

Justification

It should not be a requirement to subcontract but should be left to the discretion of the competent authority.

Amendment 12
Article 9, paragraph 2

2.   A competent authority may decide not to award public service contracts to any operator that would, as a consequence, have more than a quarter of the relevant market for public passenger transport services.

2.   A competent authority may decide not to award public service contracts to any operator that would, as a consequence, be deemed to be a monopoly operator within existing EU or national legislation.

Justification

To ensure the subsidiarity principle applies.

Amendment 13
Article 9, paragraph 4

4.   Competent authorities may require the selected operator to establish itself in the Member State in question, except where Community legislation adopted pursuant to Article 71 of the Treaty lays down the freedom to provide services. However, competent authorities awarding public service contracts shall not discriminate against potential operators established in other Member States on the grounds that they are not yet established in the Member State in question or have not yet been granted a licence to operate services.

4.   Competent authorities may require the selected operator to establish itself in the Member State in question, except where Community legislation adopted pursuant to Article 71 of the Treaty lays down the freedom to provide services. However, competent authorities awarding public service contracts shall not discriminate against potential operators established in other Member States on the grounds that they are not yet established in the Member State in question or have not yet been granted a licence to operate services, in particular by allowing sufficient time between the award of the contract and the service commencement date to allow operators to obtain the necessary licences.

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment 14
Article 10

Without prejudice to public service contracts concluded in accordance with Chapter III, competent authorities may lay down general rules or minimum criteria to be adhered to by all operators. Those rules or criteria shall be applied without discrimination to all transport services of a similar character in the geographical area for which the authority is responsible. Such general rules or minimum criteria may include compensation for the cost of complying with them, provided that:

Without prejudice to public service contracts concluded in accordance with Chapter III, competent authorities may lay down general rules or minimum criteria to be adhered to by all operators. Those rules or criteria shall be applied without discrimination to all transport services of a similar character in the geographical area for which the authority is responsible. Such general rules or minimum criteria may include compensation for the cost of complying with them, provided that:

(a)   if the rule or criterion limits tariffs, it does so only for certain categories of passengers;

(a)   if the rule or criterion limits tariffs, it does so only for certain categories of passengers or in respect of services satisfying a specific community need, such as those serving isolated and rural communities;

(b)   in any one year, the amount of compensation for complying with general rules or minimum criteria that is received by any operator in the area covered by the rule or criterion in question shall be no more than one-fifth of the value of that operator’s services in that area; and

(b)   in any one year, the amount of compensation for complying with general rules or minimum criteria that is received by any operator in the area covered by the rule or criterion in question shall be no more than one-fifth of the value of that operator’s services in that area; and

(c)   compensation is available to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis.

(c)   compensation is available to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis.

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment 15
Article 14

1.   Member States shall ensure that operators and other interested parties have the right to appeal to a public body against decisions and preliminary decisions of competent authorities under this Regulation. This body shall be independent, in its organisation, funding, legal structure and decision-making, from any competent authority concerned and from any operator.

1.   Member States shall ensure that operators and other interested parties have the right to appeal to a public body against decisions and preliminary decisions of competent authorities under this Regulation. This body shall be independent, in its organisation, funding, legal structure and decision-making, from any competent authority concerned and from any operator. Its name and address and details of the appeal procedure shall be published in publications made in accordance with Article 13.

 

1a.   In the case of international links, the Member States concerned shall agree beforehand on a single system of appeal.

2.   Appeal bodies shall have the power to request relevant information from competent authorities, undertakings and any third party involved within the Member State concerned. This information shall be supplied without undue delay.

2.   Appeal bodies shall have the power to request relevant information from competent authorities, undertakings and any third party involved within the Member State concerned. This information shall be supplied without undue delay.

3.   Appeal bodies shall be required to determine any complaints and to take action to remedy the situation within a maximum period of two months from receipt of all information.

3.   Appeal bodies shall be required to determine any complaints and to take action to remedy the situation within a maximum period of two months from receipt of all information.

4.   Subject to paragraph 5, decisions of appeal bodies shall be binding on all parties covered by such decisions.

4.   Subject to paragraph 5, decisions of appeal bodies shall be binding on all parties covered by such decisions

5.   Member States shall take measures necessary to ensure that decisions taken by appeal bodies are subject to judicial review.

5.   Member States shall take measures necessary to ensure that decisions taken by appeal bodies are subject to judicial review.

Justification

Self-explanatory.

(1)OJ C 365 of 19.12.2000.

Last updated: 6 November 2001Legal notice