Brussels Investigates Possible State Aid for NS
THE HAGUE, 17/10/13 - The European Commission is investigating whether the Netherlands provided state aid to Netherlands Rail (NS) in awarding it the contract for high-speed trains, a spokesman for the Commission has confirmed.
NS won the concession to operate high-speed trains in 2001. In 2011, this concession was merged with the main Dutch rail network and awarded to NS. The annual fee which NS pays the ministry was then reduced from 148 million euros to 101 million per year.
Several complaints have come in to the European Commission on possible state aid since 2011. The Commission has begun a preliminary investigation of this.
Tendering law professor Chris Jansen says in NRC Handelsblad that the concession was substantially changed in 2011. He speaks of distortion of competition compared with the awarding of the contract in 2001.