The Agency’s task in the railway field is to monitor competition in the railway services market in both passenger and freight transport. If the Agency finds violations of free competition, or of regulations regarding the allocation of train paths or the charging of user fees, it acts in accordance with the Railway Transport Act and other regulations governing railway transport. The Agency also makes decisions on claims related to:
criteria based on the network statement,
the allocation of train paths,
setting and calculating the user fee,
issuing licenses to carriers,
equitable access to public railway infrastructure,
other issues of key importance for the equitable use of public railway infrastructure.
When making decisions regarding individual administrative matters, the Agency acts in accordance with the law regulating general administrative procedures, if the issues are not regulated otherwise by the Railway Transport Act.
The Agency’s decision is final and binding for all the parties in the procedure, and an administrative dispute may be launched against its decisions.
Railway Services Market Liberalization
The basic principle of EU policy is creating a single European market, and a prerequisite for achieving this goal is the sustainable development of the transport network. That is why EU member states started implementing measures for gradually opening up the service market to foreign competition also in the area of railway transport.
The railway services market began opening up to foreign competition in two steps.
Until 1 January 2006, carriers from EU member states were given access under equitable and fair conditions to railway infrastructure in other individual EU member states for the purpose of providing the service of international freight transport. On 1 January 2007, this right was expanded to providing all types of freight transport services in all EU member states.
In the next phase, the railway services market began opening up in the field of passenger transport. Until 1 January 2010, passenger railway carriers from EU member states were given access to railway infrastructure for providing the service of international passenger transport.
To provide fair and equitable access to railway infrastructure and the free competition of services in railway transport, EU member states established independent regulatory bodies.