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Parliamentary questions
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8 March 2016
Question for written answer P-002034-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Nuno Melo (PPE) , Luis de Grandes Pascual (PPE)

 Subject:  Reversal of transport concessions
 Answer in writing 

The Portuguese Government has decided to reverse a number of concession tenders which had been awarded in the transport sector, specifically the contracts signed by Carris/Metro de Lisboa with ADO/Avanza and by Metro do Porto/STCP with Transdev and National Express. The agreements concerned had been signed by the previous Portuguese Government with companies based in Mexico and Spain.

Legal predictability and confidence in the legal system are essential for the proper functioning of any state governed by the rule of the law and, indeed, for European integration.

In its answer to Written Question P-003627/2012 regarding Repsol, the Commission wrote that the decisions taken by the Argentine Government had sent ‘a very negative signal to international investors, who seek stability and predictability for their investments, [which] could seriously harm the business environment in Argentina. The measure creates legal insecurity not only for the Spanish company Repsol but also for other European firms in Argentina’.

The actions of the Portuguese Government could send a similar signal to international investors, who negotiated with Portugal in good faith. Portuguese taxpayers, meanwhile, will have to foot the bill for the inevitable compensation payments.

What is the Commission's view of the Portuguese Government's decision to reverse these transport concessions?

What steps could be taken under EC law and the treaties to safeguard legally recognised interests in these cases?

Original language of question: PT 
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