Diederik Schrijvershof, Leyla Bozkurt and Annabel Kingma are representing Federatie van Mobiliteitsbedrijven in Nederland (FMN) and its members Arriva, Transdev (Connexxion), Keolis, Qbuzz and EBS in preliminary relief proceedings against the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The reason for the proceedings is State Secretary Van Veldhoven’s intention now already, as early as 4.5 years before the current main rail network concession ends in 2025, again to directly award the entire main rail network (approximately 95% of the Dutch railway infrastructure) to NS for the period after 2025.
The State Secretary says her reason for doing so is to avoid a situation in which she must comply with the common market organisation on the Dutch rail as from 2025, which applies under current European railway regulations. In order to do, the State Secretary is using various artifices and breaching the European railway regulations, among other things. Dutch newspapers NRC and FD have reported on these preliminary relief proceedings, which were instituted on 7 September 2020: see here and here.
In an interview with NS CEO Van Boxtel, he acknowledged that competition on the Dutch rail is good for travellers but should not increase in NS’s opinion: “Competitors have made NS sharper, but they should not grow any further.” It has previously been explained in the NRC newspaper that the proposed direct awarding of the main rail network to state-owned company NS would be disastrous for the competition, whereas competition is also beneficial to NS. A complaint about this course of events has also been filed with the European Commission on behalf of FMN.