Clarification from the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding SJ:s obligation to apply the utilities procurement rules

Press release

The utilities procurement rules cover the provision of transport services by railway to the public. This has been laid down by the Court of Justice in a preliminary ruling, requested by the Supreme Administrative Court in Sweden in a case pursued by the Swedish Competition Authority against SJ.

” We welcome this judgement from the Court of Justice. The Court has made a similar assessment as the Swedish Competition Authority, which means that SJ is covered by the utilities procurement rules,” says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.

This is the first time a Swedish court has requested a preliminary ruling in a case concerning public or utilities procurement. According to the Swedish Competition Authority, SJ acted in breach of the utilities procurement rules in its 2012 award of contracts regarding cleaning services. Therefore, the Authority filed an application before the Administrative Court in Stockholm requesting that SJ should be ordered to pay a total of SEK 8.5 million in fines/ procurement fees.

Following an appeal, the case was granted leave to appeal by the Supreme Administrative Court, which requested a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxemburg. Swedish courts are able to request preliminary rulings from the Court of Justice in cases relating to public and utilities procurement.

” Swedish courts have, fortunately in my opinion, greater opportunity than has been the case to date to refer cases to the Court of Justice for preliminary ruling. Such references give us much needed answers on how the rules should be interpreted, thus providing public entities and suppliers valuable guidance on important issues,” says Rikard Jermsten.

For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, tel. +46 (0)76-542 15 80,
Kristoffer Sällfors, Legal Counsel, tel. +46 (0)8-700 16 07

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