Working the switches for the European Railway Agency to becoming the single railway authority in Europe
The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE) presented their joint vision on the future role of the European Railway Agency (ERA). In light of the DG MOVE consultation of stakeholders taking place on February 29th, CER and UNIFE highlighted their position that ERA should become the single issuing authority for safety certification and authorisation as well as authorisation for placing in service of all vehicles.
Today, ERA’s mandate is to support the creation of a competitive European railway system by removing cross-border obstacles and in parallel ensuring interoperability.
As a first step, the European Commission has to push member states to effectively implement the existing safety & interoperability directives. Moreover, CER and UNIFE highlighted in their joint vision 2022, that ERA should become the single issuing authority for safety certification/authorisation and authorisation for placing in service of all vehicles. ERA will evolve towards having a central directorate supported by national or multinational offices, allowing ERA to benefit from their competences, the local knowledge and their influence in the regions.
CER Executive Director Libor Lochman concluded: “Heading for a single railway authority in Europe, in the framework of the fourth railway package, will require technical harmonisation, streamlining of administrative procedures as well as removal of superfluous national regulations. It will finally lead to a competitive and transparent European railway market supported and supervised by a lean, competent and effective European administration.”
Philippe Citroën, UNIFE Director-General, said: “We hope that the strengthening of the role of ERA will be a priority for the Commission and EU Member States in the fourth railway package, also with view of endowing the agency with the necessary budgetary scope to develop its activities.”