UITP joins forces with six other associations to address the European Commission on the revision of the interpretative guidelines of the Public Service Obligations (PSO) Regulation. We, representatives of public transport, rail transport, and active mobility, and representatives of local & regional government, welcome the opportunity to comment on the proposal by the Commission to revise its interpretative guidelines on Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road (“the PSO Regulation”), even though we regret that only a limited number of actors were initially consulted. This Regulation sets out the conditions under which transport operators can be compensated or given exclusive rights by public authorities to provide public transport services in the general interest. The regulation, and the way it is interpreted, is therefore of critical importance to the European public transport and rail sector and to competent authorities implementing EU policy goals.
While our coalition welcomes the Commission’s initiative to revise the guidelines, which is needed to provide consistency and a clear framework at EU level, we believe that the current draft version risks undermining our contribution, efforts and policies in support of the development of public transport, the EU’s Green Deal objectives and sustainable recovery from the pandemic. Indeed, by proposing new legal concepts on public services, the guidelines as drafted would limit the ability of competent transport authorities and introduce legal uncertainty which will inhibit future effective investment in and development of public transport services.
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The Statement has been co-signed by the UITP, CCRE-CEMR, CER, EMTA, Eurocities, POLIS, SGI Europe.