Boosting European rail transport: harmonised procedures across the whole EU

02 November 2020

Critical Infrastructures

On Saturday 31 October Member States will finalise the transposition of the technical pillar of the Fourth Railway Package, thereby granting the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) additional powers needed to become Europe’s single certification body for rail vehicles and railway traffic operators.

European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport Adina Vălean said that she counts on the Member States which haven't transposed the technical pillar yet “to do their outmost to fulfil this obligation very soon” and believes that “this is a big step on our way to decarbonise Europe's transport sector and to make rail more attractive ahead of 2021”.

In a similar vein, Executive Director of ERA, Dr. Josef Doppelbauer, considers that “with the extension of our competence to the whole EU, we reach another milestone on the way to the Single European Railway Area."

ERA will take responsibility for vehicle authorisation, safety certification, and European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) trackside approval across all Member States, which represents a major change for the European rail system. From 31 October onwards, only one application must be filed through ERA’s One-Stop Shop IT tool (OSS).

The new, simplified procedure aims to reduce costs and administrative burden for the rail industry, and it will contribute to higher levels of safety, interoperability and reliability in the European rail network. Finally, the unique approach for vehicle authorisation is also likely to reduce time-to-market for emerging technologies.


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