Liberalization of railway transportation in North Macedonia postponed until end of 2022

Фото: Борче Поповски

The adoption of the package of bills on the railways that should be regulating the market liberalization has been postponed to December 2022, informed for, the Government of North Macedonia. Also, concerning the potential restructuring of North Macedonia’s Railways – Transport, as the biggest loss-making company, will have to wait for the restructuring analysis, that is currently underway.

“At this moment, a consulting house is working on the preparation of a business segmentation and until the models for restructuring of that enterprise are over, we cannot talk about opening for the market. We are expecting this analysis to be prepared sometime the next year,” said the government.

This reply from the government arrives when the European Commission in its latest report about the country’s reformation advancement in 2021 has requested the implementation of reforms in the railway sector which would mean losing the monopoly status that the North Macedonia’s Railways – Transport has regarding the organizing the railway traffic.

The European Commission is requesting that the market should be opened by entering new transport companies that will be able to transit North Macedonia railroads. The liberalization concerning railway transport is a decade-old request by the EU and previously it was stated in European Commission’s previous reports.

The business segmentation of the North Macedonia’s Railways – Transport company would encompass separation of the enterprise to separate companies for cargo and passenger railway traffic as seen in the countries in the region – Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, etc. Contrary to this, Greece has completely privatized the state railway enterprise since several years ago.