Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a decree accelerating the liberalisation of the domestic market of railway passenger transport in Poland, before other European Union member states. At the same time, the document is a compensation for the state aid granted to Regional Railways. The objective of this amendment to Public Transport Law is to align the directive of the national legislation to those of the European Union as regards the Forth Railway Package. Consequently, regulations for direct conclusion of public service contracts, without tender, have been amended – this will be possible only in specific situations.
By introducing the amendment, Poland will reduce the transition period by three years compared to other European Union member states. The contracts signed without a tender will be valid by 2030, instead of 2033. After 12 December 2020, some exemptions to the general contract assignment principle will no longer apply for railway passenger transport services.
Moreover, the Law clarifies the definition of “railway transport” and enables the conclusion of a public service contract for interregional and international passenger transport in case they are trusted to the same operator.