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Document 32007R1370

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Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70

OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 1–13 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
Special edition in Croatian: Chapter 07 Volume 013 P. 96 - 108

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2007/1370/oj
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Text

3.12.2007   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 315/1


REGULATION (EC) No 1370/2007 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

of 23 October 2007

on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Articles 71 and 89 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (2),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty (3),

Whereas:

(1)

Article 16 of the Treaty confirms the place occupied by services of general economic interest in the shared values of the Union.

(2)

Article 86(2) of the Treaty lays down that undertakings entrusted with the operation of services of general economic interest are subject to the rules contained in the Treaty, in particular to the rules on competition, in so far as the application of such rules does not obstruct the performance, in law or in fact, of the particular tasks assigned to them.

(3)

Article 73 of the Treaty constitutes a lex specialis in relation to Article 86(2). It establishes rules applicable to the compensation of public service obligations in inland transport.

(4)

The main objectives of the Commission’s White Paper of 12 September 2001‘European transport policy for 2010: time to decide’ are to guarantee safe, efficient and high-quality passenger transport services through regulated competition, guaranteeing also transparency and performance of public passenger transport services, having regard to social, environmental and regional development factors, or to offer specific tariff conditions to certain categories of traveller, such as pensioners, and to eliminate the disparities between transport undertakings from different Member States which may give rise to substantial distortions of competition.

(5)

At the present time, many inland passenger transport services which are required in the general economic interest cannot be operated on a commercial basis. The competent authorities of the Member States must be able to act to ensure that such services are provided. The mechanisms that they can use to ensure that public passenger transport services are provided include the following: the award of exclusive rights to public service operators, the grant of financial compensation to public service operators and the definition of general rules for the operation of public transport which are applicable to all operators. If Member States, in accordance with this Regulation, choose to exclude certain general rules from its scope, the general regime for State aid should apply.

(6)

Many Member States have enacted legislation providing for the award of exclusive rights and public service contracts in at least part of their public transport market, on the basis of transparent and fair competitive award procedures. As a result, trade between Member States has developed significantly and several public service operators are now providing public passenger transport services in more than one Member State. However, developments in national legislation have led to disparities in the procedures applied and have created legal uncertainty as to the rights of public service operators and the duties of the competent authorities. Regulation (EEC) No 1191/69 of the Council of 26 June 1969 on action by Member States concerning the obligations inherent in the concept of a public service in transport by rail, road and inland waterway (4), does not deal with the way public service contracts are to be awarded in the Community, and in particular the circumstances in which they should be the subject of competitive tendering. The Community legal framework ought therefore to be updated.

(7)

Studies carried out and the experience of Member States where competition in the public transport sector has been in place for a number of years show that, with appropriate safeguards, the introduction of regulated competition between operators leads to more attractive and innovative services at lower cost and is not likely to obstruct the performance of the specific tasks assigned to public service operators. This approach has been endorsed by the European Council under the Lisbon Process of 28 March 2000 which called on the Commission, the Council and the Member States, each in accordance with their respective powers, to ‘speed up liberalisation in areas such as … transport’.

(8)

Passenger transport markets which are deregulated and in which there are no exclusive rights should be allowed to maintain their characteristics and way of functioning in so far as these are compatible with Treaty requirements.

(9)

In order to be able to organise their public passenger transport services in the manner best suited to the needs of the public, all competent authorities must be able to choose their public service operators freely, taking into account the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises, under the conditions stipulated in this Regulation. In order to guarantee the application of the principles of transparency, equal treatment of competing operators and proportionality, when compensation or exclusive rights are granted, it is essential that a public service contract between the competent authority and the chosen public service operator defines the nature of the public service obligations and the agreed reward. The form or designation of the contract may vary according to the legal systems of the Member States.

(10)

Contrary to Regulation (EEC) No 1191/69, the scope of which extends to public passenger transport services by inland waterway, it is not considered advisable for this Regulation to cover the award of public service contracts in that specific sector. The organisation of public passenger transport services by inland waterway and, in so far as they are not covered by specific Community law, by national sea water is therefore subject to compliance with the general principles of the Treaty, unless Member States choose to apply this Regulation to those specific sectors. The provisions of this Regulation do not prevent the integration of services by inland waterway and national sea water into a wider urban, suburban or regional public passenger transport network.

(11)

Contrary to Regulation (EEC) No 1191/69, the scope of which extends to freight transport services, it is not considered advisable for this Regulation to cover the award of public service contracts in that specific sector. Three years after the entry into force of this Regulation the organisation of freight transport services should therefore be made subject to compliance with the general principles of the Treaty.

(12)

It is immaterial from the viewpoint of Community law whether public passenger transport services are operated by public or private undertakings. This Regulation is based on the principles of neutrality as regards the system of property ownership referred to in Article 295 of the Treaty, of the freedom of Member States to define services of general economic interest, referred to in Article 16 of the Treaty, and of subsidiarity and proportionality referred to in Article 5 of the Treaty.

(13)

Some services, often linked to specific infrastructure, are operated mainly for their historical interest or tourist value. As the purpose of these operations is manifestly different from the provision of public passenger transport, they need not therefore be governed by the rules and procedures applicable to public service requirements.

(14)

Where the competent authorities are responsible for organising the public transport network, apart from the actual operation of the transport service, this may cover a whole range of other activities and duties that the competent authorities must be free either to carry out themselves or entrust, in whole or in part, to a third party.

(15)

Contracts of long duration can lead to market foreclosure for a longer period than is necessary, thus diminishing the benefits of competitive pressure. In order to minimise distortions of competition, while protecting the quality of services, public service contracts should be of limited duration. The extension of such contracts could be subject to positive confirmation from users. In this context, it is necessary to make provision for extending public service contracts by a maximum of half their initial duration where the public service operator must invest in assets for which the depreciation period is exceptional and, because of their special characteristics and constraints, in the case of the outermost regions as specified in Article 299 of the Treaty. In addition, where a public service operator makes investments in infrastructure or in rolling stock and vehicles which are exceptional in the sense that both concern high amounts of funds, and provided the contract is awarded after a fair competitive tendering procedure, an even longer extension should be possible.

(16)

Where the conclusion of a public service contract may entail a change of public service operator, it should be possible for the competent authorities to ask the chosen public service operator to apply the provisions of Council Directive 2001/23/EC of 12 March 2001 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the safeguarding of employees’ rights in the event of transfer of undertakings, businesses or parts of undertakings or businesses (5). This Directive does not preclude Member States from safeguarding transfer conditions of employees’ rights other than those covered by Directive 2001/23/EC and thereby, if appropriate, taking into account social standards established by national laws, regulations or administrative provisions or collective agreements or agreements concluded between social partners.

(17)

In keeping with the principle of subsidiarity, competent authorities are free to establish social and qualitative criteria in order to maintain and raise quality standards for public service obligations, for instance with regard to minimal working conditions, passenger rights, the needs of persons with reduced mobility, environmental protection, the security of passengers and employees as well as collective agreement obligations and other rules and agreements concerning workplaces and social protection at the place where the service is provided. In order to ensure transparent and comparable terms of competition between operators and to avert the risk of social dumping, competent authorities should be free to impose specific social and service quality standards.

(18)

Subject to the relevant provisions of national law, any local authority or, in the absence thereof, any national authority may choose to provide its own public passenger transport services in the area it administers or to entrust them to an internal operator without competitive tendering. However, this self-provision option needs to be strictly controlled to ensure a level playing field. The competent authority or group of authorities providing integrated public passenger transport services, collectively or through its members, should exercise the required control. In addition, a competent authority providing its own transport services or an internal operator should be prohibited from taking part in competitive tendering procedures outside the territory of that authority. The authority controlling the internal operator should also be allowed to prohibit this operator from taking part in competitive tenders organised within its territory. Restrictions on the activities of an internal operator do not interfere with the possibility of directly awarding public service contracts where they concern transport by rail, with the exception of other track-based modes such as metro or tramways. Furthermore, the direct award of public service contracts for heavy rail does not preclude the possibility for competent authorities to award public service contracts for public passenger transport services on other track-based modes, such as metro and tramway, to an internal operator.

(19)

Subcontracting can contribute to more efficient public passenger transport and makes it possible for undertakings to participate, other than the public service operator which was granted the public service contract. However, with a view to the best use of public funds, competent authorities should be able to determine the modalities for subcontracting their public passenger transport services, in particular in the case of services performed by an internal operator. Furthermore, a subcontractor should not be prevented from taking part in competitive tenders in the territory of any competent authority. The selection of a subcontractor by the competent authority or its internal operator needs to be carried out in accordance with Community law.

(20)

Where a public authority chooses to entrust a general interest service to a third party, it must select the public service operator in accordance with Community law on public contracts and concessions, as established by Articles 43 to 49 of the Treaty, and the principles of transparency and equal treatment. In particular, the provisions of this Regulation are to be without prejudice to the obligations applicable to public authorities by virtue of the directives on the award of public contracts, where public service contracts fall within their scope.

(21)

Effective legal protection should be guaranteed, not only for awards falling within the scope of Directive 2004/17/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (6) and Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts (7), but also for other contracts awarded under this Regulation. An effective review procedure is needed and should be comparable, where appropriate, to the relevant procedures set out in Council Directive 89/665/EEC of 21 December 1989 on the coordination of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the application of review procedures to the award of public supply and public works contracts (8) and Council Directive 92/13/EEC of 25 February 1992 coordinating the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the application of Community rules on the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and telecommunications sectors (9).

(22)

Some invitations to tender require the competent authorities to define and describe complex systems. These authorities should therefore have power, when awarding contracts in such cases, to negotiate details with some or all of the potential public service operators once tenders have been submitted.

(23)

Invitations to tender for the award of public service contracts should not be mandatory where the contract relates to modest amounts or distances. In this respect, greater amounts or distances should enable competent authorities to take into account the special interests of small and medium-sized enterprises. Competent authorities should not be permitted to split up contracts or networks in order to avoid tendering.

(24)

Where there is a risk of disruption in the provision of services, the competent authorities should have power to introduce emergency short-term measures pending the award of a new public service contract which is in line with all the conditions for awarding a contract laid down in this Regulation.

(25)

Public passenger transport by rail raises specific issues of investment burden and infrastructure cost. In March 2004, the Commission presented a proposal to amend Council Directive 91/440/EEC of 29 July 1991 on the development of the Community’s railways (10) so as to guarantee access for all Community railway undertakings to the infrastructure of all Member States for the purpose of operating international passenger services. The aim of this Regulation is to establish a legal framework for compensation and/or exclusive rights for public service contracts and not the further opening of the market for railway services.

(26)

In the case of public services, this Regulation allows each competent authority, within the context of a public service contract, to select its operator of public passenger transport services. Given the differences in the way Member States organise their territory in this respect, competent authorities may justifiably be allowed to award public service contracts directly for railway travel.

(27)

The compensation granted by competent authorities to cover the costs incurred in discharging public service obligations should be calculated in a way that prevents overcompensation. Where a competent authority plans to award a public service contract without putting it out to competitive tender, it should also respect detailed rules ensuring that the amount of compensation is appropriate and reflecting a desire for efficiency and quality of service.

(28)

By appropriately considering the effects of complying with the public service obligations on the demand for public passenger transport services in the calculation scheme set out in the Annex, the competent authority and the public service operator can prove that overcompensation has been avoided.

(29)

With a view to the award of public service contracts, with the exception of emergency measures and contracts relating to modest distances, the competent authorities should take the necessary measures to advertise, at least one year in advance, the fact that they intend to award such contracts, so as to enable potential public service operators to react.

(30)

Directly awarded public service contracts should be subject to greater transparency.

(31)

Given that competent authorities and public service operators will need time to adapt to the provisions of this Regulation, provision should be made for transitional arrangements. With a view to the gradual award of public service contracts in line with this Regulation, Member States should provide the Commission with a progress report within the six months following the first half of the transitional period. The Commission may propose appropriate measures on the basis of these reports.

(32)

During the transitional period, the application of the provisions of this Regulation by the competent authorities may take place at different times. It may therefore be possible, during this period, that public service operators from markets not yet affected by the provisions of this Regulation tender for public service contracts in markets that have been opened to controlled competition more rapidly. In order to avoid, by means of proportionate action, any imbalance in the opening of the public transport market, competent authorities should be able to refuse, in the second half of the transitional period, tenders from undertakings, more than half the value of the public transport services performed by which are not granted in accordance with this Regulation, provided that this is applied without discrimination and decided in advance of an invitation to tender.

(33)

In paragraphs 87 to 95 of its judgment of 24 July 2003 in Case C-280/00 Altmark Trans GmbH (11), the Court of Justice of the European Communities ruled that compensation for public service does not constitute an advantage within the meaning of Article 87 of the Treaty, provided that four cumulative conditions are satisfied. Where those conditions are not satisfied and the general conditions for the application of Article 87(1) of the Treaty are met, public service compensation constitutes State aid and is subject to Articles 73, 86, 87 and 88 of the Treaty.

(34)

Compensation for public services may prove necessary in the inland passenger transport sector so that undertakings responsible for public services operate on the basis of principles and under conditions which allow them to carry out their tasks. Such compensation may be compatible with the Treaty pursuant to Article 73 under certain conditions. Firstly, it must be granted to ensure the provision of services which are services of general interest within the meaning of the Treaty. Secondly, in order to avoid unjustified distortions of competition, it may not exceed what is necessary to cover the net costs incurred through discharging the public service obligations, taking account of the revenue generated thereby and a reasonable profit.

(35)

Compensation granted by the competent authorities in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation may therefore be exempted from the prior notification requirement of Article 88(3) of the Treaty.

(36)

This Regulation replaces Regulation (EEC) No 1191/69, which should therefore be repealed. For public freight transport services, a transitional period of three years will assist the phasing out of compensation not authorised by the Commission in accordance with Articles 73, 86, 87 and 88 of the Treaty. Any compensation granted in relation to the provision of public passenger transport services other than those covered by this Regulation which risks involving State aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) of the Treaty should comply with the provisions of Articles 73, 86, 87 and 88 thereof, including any relevant interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Communities and especially its ruling in Case C-280/00 Altmark Trans GmbH. When examining such cases, the Commission should therefore apply principles similar to those laid down in this Regulation or, where appropriate, other legislation in the field of services of general economic interest.

(37)

The scope of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1107/70 of 4 June 1970 on the granting of aids for transport by rail, road and inland waterway (12) is covered by this Regulation. That Regulation is considered obsolete while limiting the application of Article 73 of the Treaty without granting an appropriate legal basis for authorising current investment schemes, in particular in relation to investment in transport infrastructure in a public private partnership. It should therefore be repealed in order for Article 73 of the Treaty to be properly applied to continuing developments in the sector without prejudice to this Regulation or Council Regulation (EEC) No 1192/69 of 26 June 1969 on common rules for the normalisation of the accounts of railway undertakings (13). With a view to further facilitating the application of the relevant Community rules, the Commission will propose State aid guidelines for railway investment, including investment in infrastructure in 2007.

(38)

With a view to assessing the implementation of this Regulation and the developments in the provision of public passenger transport in the Community, in particular the quality of public passenger transport services and the effects of granting public service contracts by direct award, the Commission should produce a report. This report may, if necessary, be accompanied by appropriate proposals for the amendment of this Regulation,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Purpose and scope

1.   The purpose of this Regulation is to define how, in accordance with the rules of Community law, competent authorities may act in the field of public passenger transport to guarantee the provision of services of general interest which are among other things more numerous, safer, of a higher quality or provided at lower cost than those that market forces alone would have allowed.

To this end, this Regulation lays down the conditions under which competent authorities, when imposing or contracting for public service obligations, compensate public service operators for costs incurred and/or grant exclusive rights in return for the discharge of public service obligations.

2.   This Regulation shall apply to the national and international operation of public passenger transport services by rail and other track-based modes and by road, except for services which are operated mainly for their historical interest or their tourist value. Member States may apply this Regulation to public passenger transport by inland waterways and, without prejudice to Council Regulation (EEC) No 3577/92 of 7 December 1992 applying the principle of freedom to provide services to maritime transport within Member States (maritime cabotage) (14), national sea waters.

3.   This Regulation shall not apply to public works concessions within the meaning of Article 1(3)(a) of Directive 2004/17/EC or of Article 1(3) of Directive 2004/18/EC.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purpose of this Regulation:

(a)

‘public passenger transport’ means passenger transport services of general economic interest provided to the public on a non-discriminatory and continuous basis;

(b)

‘competent authority’ means any public authority or group of public authorities of a Member State or Member States which has the power to intervene in public passenger transport in a given geographical area or any body vested with such authority;

(c)

‘competent local authority’ means any competent authority whose geographical area of competence is not national;

(d)

‘public service operator’ means any public or private undertaking or group of such undertakings which operates public passenger transport services or any public body which provides public passenger transport services;

(e)

‘public service obligation’ means a requirement defined or determined by a competent authority in order to ensure public passenger transport services in the general interest that an operator, if it were considering its own commercial interests, would not assume or would not assume to the same extent or under the same conditions without reward;

(f)

‘exclusive right’ means a right entitling a public service operator to operate certain public passenger transport services on a particular route or network or in a particular area, to the exclusion of any other such operator;

(g)

‘public service compensation’ means any benefit, particularly financial, granted directly or indirectly by a competent authority from public funds during the period of implementation of a public service obligation or in connection with that period;

(h)

‘direct award’ means the award of a public service contract to a given public service operator without any prior competitive tendering procedure;

(i)

‘public service contract’ means one or more legally binding acts confirming the agreement between a competent authority and a public service operator to entrust to that public service operator the management and operation of public passenger transport services subject to public service obligations; depending on the law of the Member State, the contract may also consist of a decision adopted by the competent authority:

taking the form of an individual legislative or regulatory act, or

containing conditions under which the competent authority itself provides the services or entrusts the provision of such services to an internal operator;

(j)

‘internal operator’ means a legally distinct entity over which a competent local authority, or in the case of a group of authorities at least one competent local authority, exercises control similar to that exercised over its own departments;

(k)

‘value’ means the value of a service, a route, a public service contract, or a compensation scheme for public passenger transport corresponding to the total remuneration, before VAT, of the public service operator or operators, including compensation of whatever kind paid by the public authorities and revenue from the sale of tickets which is not repaid to the competent authority in question;

(l)

‘general rule’ means a measure which applies without discrimination to all public passenger transport services of the same type in a given geographical area for which a competent authority is responsible;

(m)

‘integrated public passenger transport services’ means interconnected transport services within a determined geographical area with a single information service, ticketing scheme and timetable.

Article 3

Public service contracts and general rules

1.   Where a competent authority decides to grant the operator of its choice an exclusive right and/or compensation, of whatever nature, in return for the discharge of public service obligations, it shall do so within the framework of a public service contract.

2.   By way of derogation from paragraph 1, public service obligations which aim at establishing maximum tariffs for all passengers or for certain categories of passenger may also be the subject of general rules. In accordance with the principles set out in Articles 4 and 6 and in the Annex, the competent authority shall compensate the public service operators for the net financial effect, positive or negative, on costs incurred and revenues generated in complying with the tariff obligations established through general rules in a way that prevents overcompensation. This shall be so notwithstanding the right of competent authorities to integrate public service obligations establishing maximum tariffs in public service contracts.

3.   Without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 73, 86, 87 and 88 of the Treaty, Member States may exclude from the scope of this Regulation general rules on financial compensation for public service obligations which establish maximum tariffs for pupils, students, apprentices and persons with reduced mobility. These general rules shall be notified in accordance with Article 88 of the Treaty. Any such notification shall contain complete information on the measure and, in particular, details on the calculation method.

Article 4

Mandatory content of public service contracts and general rules

1.   Public service contracts and general rules shall:

(a)

clearly define the public service obligations with which the public service operator is to comply, and the geographical areas concerned;

(b)

establish in advance, in an objective and transparent manner,

(i)

the parameters on the basis of which the compensation payment, if any, is to be calculated, and

(ii)

the nature and extent of any exclusive rights granted,

in a way that prevents overcompensation. In the case of public service contracts awarded in accordance with Article 5(2), (4), (5) and (6), these parameters shall be determined in such a way that no compensation payment may exceed the amount required to cover the net financial effect on costs incurred and revenues generated in discharging the public service obligations, taking account of revenue relating thereto kept by the public service operator and a reasonable profit;

(c)

determine the arrangements for the allocation of costs connected with the provision of services. These costs may include in particular the costs of staff, energy, infrastructure charges, maintenance and repair of public transport vehicles, rolling stock and installations necessary for operating the passenger transport services, fixed costs and a suitable return on capital.

2.   Public service contracts and general rules shall determine the arrangements for the allocation of revenue from the sale of tickets which may be kept by the public service operator, repaid to the competent authority or shared between the two.

3.   The duration of public service contracts shall be limited and shall not exceed 10 years for coach and bus services and 15 years for passenger transport services by rail or other track-based modes. The duration of public service contracts relating to several modes of transport shall be limited to 15 years if transport by rail or other track-based modes represents more than 50 % of the value of the services in question.

4.   If necessary, having regard to the conditions of asset depreciation, the duration of the public service contract may be extended by a maximum of 50 % if the public service operator provides assets which are both significant in relation to the overall assets needed to carry out the passenger transport services covered by the public service contract and linked predominantly to the passenger transport services covered by the contract.

If justified by costs deriving from the particular geographical situation, the duration of public service contracts specified in paragraph 3 in the outermost regions may be extended by a maximum of 50 %.

If justified by the amortisation of capital in relation to exceptional infrastructure, rolling stock or vehicular investment and if the public service contract is awarded in a fair competitive tendering procedure, a public service contract may have a longer duration. In order to ensure transparency in this case, the competent authority shall transmit to the Commission within one year of the conclusion of the contract the public service contract and elements justifying its longer duration.

5.   Without prejudice to national and Community law, including collective agreements between social partners, competent authorities may require the selected public service operator to grant staff previously taken on to provide services the rights to which they would have been entitled if there had been a transfer within the meaning of Directive 2001/23/EC. Where competent authorities require public service operators to comply with certain social standards, tender documents and public service contracts shall list the staff concerned and give transparent details of their contractual rights and the conditions under which employees are deemed to be linked to the services.

6.   Where competent authorities, in accordance with national law, require public service operators to comply with certain quality standards, these standards shall be included in the tender documents and in the public service contracts.

7.   Tender documents and public service contracts shall indicate, in a transparent manner, whether, and if so to what extent, subcontracting may be considered. If subcontracting takes place, the operator entrusted with the administration and performance of public passenger transport services in accordance with this Regulation shall be required to perform a major part of the public passenger transport services itself. A public service contract covering at the same time design, construction and operation of public passenger transport services may allow full subcontracting for the operation of those services. The public service contract shall, in accordance with national and Community law, determine the conditions applicable to subcontracting.

Article 5

Award of public service contracts

1.   Public service contracts shall be awarded in accordance with the rules laid down in this Regulation. However, service contracts or public service contracts as defined in Directives 2004/17/EC or 2004/18/EC for public passenger transport services by bus or tram shall be awarded in accordance with the procedures provided for under those Directives where such contracts do not take the form of service concessions contracts as defined in those Directives. Where contracts are to be awarded in accordance with Directives 2004/17/EC or 2004/18/EC, the provisions of paragraphs 2 to 6 of this Article shall not apply.

2.   Unless prohibited by national law, any competent local authority, whether or not it is an individual authority or a group of authorities providing integrated public passenger transport services, may decide to provide public passenger transport services itself or to award public service contracts directly to a legally distinct entity over which the competent local authority, or in the case of a group of authorities at least one competent local authority, exercises control similar to that exercised over its own departments. Where a competent local authority takes such a decision, the following shall apply:

(a)

for the purposes of determining whether the competent local authority exercises control, factors such as the degree of representation on administrative, management or supervisory bodies, specifications relating thereto in the articles of association, ownership, effective influence and control over strategic decisions and individual management decisions shall be taken into consideration. In accordance with Community law, 100 % ownership by the competent public authority, in particular in the case of public-private partnerships, is not a mandatory requirement for establishing control within the meaning of this paragraph, provided that there is a dominant public influence and that control can be established on the basis of other criteria;

(b)

the condition for applying this paragraph is that the internal operator and any entity over which this operator exerts even a minimal influence perform their public passenger transport activity within the territory of the competent local authority, notwithstanding any outgoing lines or other ancillary elements of that activity which enter the territory of neighbouring competent local authorities, and do not take part in competitive tenders concerning the provision of public passenger transport services organised outside the territory of the competent local authority;

(c)

notwithstanding point (b), an internal operator may participate in fair competitive tenders as from two years before the end of its directly awarded public service contract under the condition that a final decision has been taken to submit the public passenger transport services covered by the internal operator contract to fair competitive tender and that the internal operator has not concluded any other directly awarded public service contract;

(d)

in the absence of a competent local authority, points (a), (b) and (c) shall apply to a national authority for the benefit of a geographical area which is not national, provided that the internal operator does not take part in competitive tenders concerning the provision of public passenger transport services organised outside the area for which the public service contract has been granted;

(e)

if subcontracting under Article 4(7) is being considered, the internal operator shall be required to perform the major part of the public passenger transport service itself.

3.   Any competent authority which has recourse to a third party other than an internal operator, shall award public service contracts on the basis of a competitive tendering procedure, except in the cases specified in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6. The procedure adopted for competitive tendering shall be open to all operators, shall be fair and shall observe the principles of transparency and non-discrimination. Following the submission of tenders and any preselection, the procedure may involve negotiations in accordance with these principles in order to determine how best to meet specific or complex requirements.

4.   Unless prohibited by national law, the competent authorities may decide to award public service contracts directly either where their average annual value is estimated at less than EUR 1 000 000 or where they concern the annual provision of less than 300 000 kilometres of public passenger transport services.

In the case of a public service contract directly awarded to a small or medium-sized enterprise operating not more than 23 vehicles, these thresholds may be increased to either an average annual value estimated at less than EUR 2 000 000 or where they concern the annual provision of less than 600 000 kilometres of public passenger transport services.

5.   In the event of a disruption of services or the immediate risk of such a situation, the competent authority may take an emergency measure. This emergency measure shall take the form of a direct award or a formal agreement to extend a public service contract or a requirement to provide certain public service obligations. The public service operator shall have the right to appeal against the decision to impose the provision of certain public service obligations. The award or extension of a public service contract by emergency measure or the imposition of such a contract shall not exceed two years.

6.   Unless prohibited by national law, competent authorities may decide to make direct awards of public service contracts where they concern transport by rail, with the exception of other track-based modes such as metro or tramways. In derogation from Article 4(3), such contracts shall not exceed 10 years, except where Article 4(4) applies.

7.   Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that decisions taken in accordance with paragraphs 2 to 6 may be reviewed effectively and rapidly, at the request of any person having or having had an interest in obtaining a particular contract and who has been or risks being harmed by an alleged infringement, on the grounds that such decisions have infringed Community law or national rules implementing that law.

Where bodies responsible for review procedures are not judicial in character, written reasons for their decisions shall always be given. Furthermore, in such a case, provision must be made so that any alleged illegal measure taken by the review body or any alleged defect in the exercise of the powers conferred on it may be the subject of judicial review or review by another body which is a court or tribunal within the meaning of Article 234 of the Treaty and independent of both the contracting authority and the review body.

Article 6

Public service compensation

1.   All compensation connected with a general rule or a public service contract shall comply with the provisions laid down in Article 4, irrespective of how the contract was awarded. All compensation, of whatever nature, connected with a public service contract awarded directly in accordance with Article 5(2), (4), (5) or (6) or connected with a general rule shall also comply with the provisions laid down in the Annex.

2.   At the written request of the Commission, Member States shall communicate, within a period of three months or any longer period as may be fixed in that request, all the information that the Commission considers necessary to determine whether the compensation granted is compatible with this Regulation.

Article 7

Publication

1.   Each competent authority shall make public once a year an aggregated report on the public service obligations for which it is responsible, the selected public service operators and the compensation payments and exclusive rights granted to the said public service operators by way of reimbursement. This report shall distinguish between bus transport and rail transport, allow the performance, quality and financing of the public transport network to be monitored and assessed and, if appropriate, provide information on the nature and extent of any exclusive rights granted.

2.   Each competent authority shall take the necessary measures to ensure that, at least one year before the launch of the invitation to tender procedure or one year before the direct award, the following information at least is published in the Official Journal of the European Union:

(a)

the name and address of the competent authority;

(b)

the type of award envisaged;

(c)

the services and areas potentially covered by the award.

Competent authorities may decide not to publish this information where a public service contract concerns an annual provision of less than 50 000 kilometres of public passenger transport services.

Should this information change after its publication, the competent authority shall publish a rectification accordingly as soon as possible. This rectification shall be without prejudice to the launching date of the direct award or of the invitation to tender.

This paragraph shall not apply to Article 5(5).

3.   In the case of a direct award of public service contracts for transport by rail, as provided for in Article 5(6), the competent authority shall make public the following information within one year of granting the award:

(a)

name of the contracting entity, its ownership and, if appropriate, the name of the party or parties exercising legal control;

(b)

duration of the public service contract;

(c)

description of the passenger transport services to be performed;

(d)

description of the parameters of the financial compensation;

(e)

quality targets, such as punctuality and reliability and rewards and penalties applicable;

(f)

conditions relating to essential assets.

4.   When so requested by an interested party, a competent authority shall forward to it the reasons for its decision for directly awarding a public service contract.

Article 8

Transition

1.   Public service contracts shall be awarded in accordance with the rules laid down in this Regulation. However, service contracts or public service contracts as defined in Directive 2004/17/EC or 2004/18/EC for public passenger transport services by bus or tram shall be awarded in accordance with the procedures provided for under those Directives where such contracts do not take the form of service concessions contracts as defined in those Directives. Where contracts are to be awarded in accordance with Directives 2004/17/EC or 2004/18/EC, the provisions of paragraphs 2 to 4 of this Article shall not apply.

2.   Without prejudice to paragraph 3, the award of public service contracts by rail and by road shall comply with Article 5 as from 3 December 2019. During this transitional period Member States shall take measures to gradually comply with Article 5 in order to avoid serious structural problems in particular relating to transport capacity.

Within six months after the first half of the transitional period, Member States shall provide the Commission with a progress report, highlighting the implementation of any gradual award of public service contracts in line with Article 5. On the basis of the Member States’ progress reports, the Commission may propose appropriate measures addressed to Member States.

3.   In the application of paragraph 2, no account shall be taken of public service contracts awarded in accordance with Community and national law:

(a)

before 26 July 2000 on the basis of a fair competitive tendering procedure;

(b)

before 26 July 2000 on the basis of a procedure other than a fair competitive tendering procedure;

(c)

as from 26 July 2000 and before 3 December 2009 on the basis of a fair competitive tendering procedure;

(d)

as from 26 July 2000 and before 3 December 2009 on the basis of a procedure other than a fair competitive tendering procedure.

The contracts referred to in (a) may continue until they expire. The contracts referred to in (b) and (c) may continue until they expire, but for no longer than 30 years. The contracts referred to in (d) may continue until they expire, provided they are of limited duration comparable to the durations specified in Article 4.

Public service contracts may continue until they expire where their termination would entail undue legal or economic consequences and provided that the Commission has given its approval.

4.   Without prejudice to paragraph 3, the competent authorities may opt, in the second half of the transitional period specified in paragraph 2, to exclude from participation in the award of contracts by invitation to tender those public service operators which cannot provide evidence that the value of the public transport services for which they are receiving compensation or enjoy an exclusive right granted in accordance with this Regulation represents at least half the value of all the public transport services for which they are receiving compensation or enjoy an exclusive right. Such exclusion shall not apply to public service operators running the services which are to be tendered. For the application of this criterion, no account shall be taken of public service contracts awarded by emergency measure as referred to in Article 5(5).

Where competent authorities make use of the option referred to in the first subparagraph, they shall do so without discrimination, exclude all potential public service operators meeting this criterion and inform the potential operators of their decision at the beginning of the procedure for the award of public service contracts.

The competent authorities concerned shall inform the Commission of their intention to apply this provision at least two months before the publication of the invitation to tender.

Article 9

Compatibility with the Treaty

1.   Public service compensation for the operation of public passenger transport services or for complying with tariff obligations established through general rules paid in accordance with this Regulation shall be compatible with the common market. Such compensation shall be exempt from the prior notification requirement laid down in Article 88(3) of the Treaty.

2.   Without prejudice to Articles 73, 86, 87 and 88 of the Treaty, Member States may continue to grant aid for the transport sector pursuant to Article 73 of the Treaty which meets transport coordination needs or which represents reimbursement for the discharge of certain obligations inherent in the concept of a public service, other than those covered by this Regulation, and in particular:

(a)

until the entry into force of common rules on the allocation of infrastructure costs, where aid is granted to undertakings which have to bear expenditure relating to the infrastructure used by them, while other undertakings are not subject to a like burden. In determining the amount of aid thus granted, account shall be taken of the infrastructure costs which competing modes of transport do not have to bear;

(b)

where the purpose of the aid is to promote either research into, or development of, transport systems and technologies which are more economic for the Community in general.

Such aid shall be restricted to the research and development stage and may not cover the commercial exploitation of such transport systems and technologies.

Article 10

Repeal

1.   Regulation (EEC) No 1191/69 is hereby repealed. Its provisions shall however continue to apply to freight transport services for a period of three years after the entry into force of this Regulation.

2.   Regulation (EEC) No 1107/70 is hereby repealed.

Article 11

Reports

After the end of the transitional period specified in Article 8(2), the Commission shall present a report on the implementation of this Regulation and on the developments in the provision of public passenger transport in the Community, assessing in particular the development of the quality of public passenger transport services and the effects of direct awards, accompanied, if necessary, by appropriate proposals for the amendment of this Regulation.

Article 12

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on 3 December 2009.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Strasbourg, 23 October 2007.

For the European Parliament

The President

H.-G. PÖTTERING

For the Council

The President

M. LOBO ANTUNES


(1)  OJ C 195, 18.8.2006, p. 20.

(2)  OJ C 192, 16.8.2006, p. 1.

(3)  Opinion of the European Parliament of 14 November 2001 (OJ C 140 E, 13.6.2002, p. 262), Council Common Position of 11 December 2006 (OJ C 70 E, 27.3.2007, p. 1) and Position of the European Parliament of 10 May 2007. Council Decision of 18 September 2007.

(4)  OJ L 156, 28.6.1969, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EEC) No 1893/91 (OJ L 169, 29.6.1991, p. 1).

(5)  OJ L 82, 22.3.2001, p. 16.

(6)  OJ L 134, 30.4.2004, p. 1. Directive as last amended by Council Directive 2006/97/EC (OJ L 363, 20.12.2006, p. 107).

(7)  OJ L 134, 30.4.2004, p. 114. Directive as last amended by Council Directive 2006/97/EC.

(8)  OJ L 395, 30.12.1989, p. 33. Directive as amended by Directive 92/50/EEC (OJ L 209, 24.7.1992, p. 1).

(9)  OJ L 76, 23.3.1992, p. 14. Directive as last amended by Directive 2006/97/EC.

(10)  OJ L 237, 24.8.1991, p. 25. Directive as last amended by Directive 2006/103/EC (OJ L 363, 20.12.2006, p. 344).

(11)  [2003] ECR I-7747.

(12)  OJ L 130, 15.6.1970, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 543/97 (OJ L 84, 26.3.1997, p. 6).

(13)  OJ L 156, 28.6.1969, p. 8. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006 (OJ L 363, 20.12.2006, p. 1).

(14)  OJ L 364, 12.12.1992, p. 7.


ANNEX

Rules applicable to compensation in the cases referred to in Article 6(1)

1.

The compensation connected with public service contracts awarded directly in accordance with Article 5(2), (4), (5) or (6) or with a general rule must be calculated in accordance with the rules laid down in this Annex.

2.

The compensation may not exceed an amount corresponding to the net financial effect equivalent to the total of the effects, positive or negative, of compliance with the public service obligation on the costs and revenue of the public service operator. The effects shall be assessed by comparing the situation where the public service obligation is met with the situation which would have existed if the obligation had not been met. In order to calculate the net financial effect, the competent authority shall be guided by the following scheme:

costs incurred in relation to a public service obligation or a bundle of public service obligations imposed by the competent authority/authorities, contained in a public service contract and/or in a general rule,

minus any positive financial effects generated within the network operated under the public service obligation(s) in question,

minus receipts from tariff or any other revenue generated while fulfilling the public service obligation(s) in question,

plus a reasonable profit,

equals net financial effect.

3.

Compliance with the public service obligation may have an impact on possible transport activities of an operator beyond the public service obligation(s) in question. In order to avoid overcompensation or lack of compensation, quantifiable financial effects on the operator’s networks concerned shall therefore be taken into account when calculating the net financial effect.

4.

Costs and revenue must be calculated in accordance with the accounting and tax rules in force.

5.

In order to increase transparency and avoid cross-subsidies, where a public service operator not only operates compensated services subject to public transport service obligations, but also engages in other activities, the accounts of the said public services must be separated so as to meet at least the following conditions:

the operating accounts corresponding to each of these activities must be separate and the proportion of the corresponding assets and the fixed costs must be allocated in accordance with the accounting and tax rules in force,

all variable costs, an appropriate contribution to the fixed costs and a reasonable profit connected with any other activity of the public service operator may under no circumstances be charged to the public service in question,

the costs of the public service must be balanced by operating revenue and payments from public authorities, without any possibility of transfer of revenue to another sector of the public service operator’s activity.

6.

‘Reasonable profit’ must be taken to mean a rate of return on capital that is normal for the sector in a given Member State and that takes account of the risk, or absence of risk, incurred by the public service operator by virtue of public authority intervention.

7.

The method of compensation must promote the maintenance or development of:

effective management by the public service operator, which can be the subject of an objective assessment, and

the provision of passenger transport services of a sufficiently high standard.


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