Fourth railway package

Field
transport, mobility

The Fourth Railway Package is a set of six legislative texts aimed at completing the Single Market for rail services. It aims to improve the quality of rail (passenger) services and make the sector more competitive. It establishes a general right for a European railway undertaking to operate everywhere in the EU.

To do so the set of legislation is composed of:

(1) a technical pillar to harmonise the administrative and technical aspects of operating a service in another EU Member State, e.g. ensuring interoperable equipment or avoiding the cost of multiple applications for safety certificate; 

(2) A political pillar to set impartial rules in the allocation of contracts and preserve the interests of passengers.

Pavel Telička  defended that in cases where a railway service is operated under a public service contract, the contract should be allocated following a competitive tender. Since the operation of a public service contract is financially compensated by the competent authority, it was important to ensure that those public contracts offer the best value for passengers both in quality and in financial terms. Tenders do not only ensure that public authorities can chose a company that best caters its needs, it primarily guarantees that the most cost-effective company will perform operations. This leads to real savings taxpayers across Europe. 

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