Reports 14 Sep 2023

Legal analysis of the revised PSO Guidelines

In June 2023, the European Commission published revised Interpretative Guidelines on Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road (“the PSO Regulation”), a non-binding instrument aimed at providing guidance to Member States on the Commission’s interpretation of its provisions.

CER welcomes this initiative, which is important to ensure a correct and consistent application of the PSO Regulation and was especially needed following its amendment by Regulation (EU) 2016/2338 in the context of the 4th Railway Package. However, in CER’s view, the new Guidelines go beyond their desirable stated objective, by instead setting forth new requirements to the point of being an amendment of the Regulation itself. This constitutes a disproportionate limitation of Member States’ discretion and results in problems of legal certainty.

The following paper makes a legal analysis of the guidelines providing examples of how they, in practice, are more far reaching that the Regulation they interpret.