The House has adopted a motion put forward by Mr Duco Hoogland MP (Labour Party, PvdA) expressing disapproval of the fourth EU railway package. With the fourth railway package the European Commission wants to introduce compulsory competition in the railway sector. According to the Commission the Member States should open up their domestic rail passenger markets for private railway companies and introduce public tendering of contracts. In the eyes of the Commission this would make the railway system of Europe more efficient and fairer.
A majority of the House is of the opinion that the organisation of domestic rail passenger transportation should remain a responsibility of national governments. Accordingly, the House has expressed a negative opinion on the subsidiarity of the proposal in a letter to the European Commission. The House is concerned that more competition in the railway sector may have a negative impact on the quality of rail passenger transport. Moreover, the EU railway package would compel the government to renegotiate the contract with the Dutch railway company Nederlandse Spoorwegen. The House finds this undesirable.
If one third of the national parliaments of EU Member States express a negative opinion in a letter to the European Commission by the deadline of 3 April 2013, the European Commission is shown the so-called "yellow card", which means it must reconsider the proposal in question.