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Procedure : 2006/0274(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0350/2007

Texts tabled :

A6-0350/2007

Debates :

PV 28/11/2007 - 18
CRE 28/11/2007 - 18

Votes :

PV 29/11/2007 - 7.14

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2007)0558

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 29 November 2007 - Brussels
Amendment to Regulation (EC) N° 881/2004 establishing a European Railway Agency ***I
P6_TA(2007)0558A6-0350/2007
Resolution
 Consolidated text

European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 November 2007 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) N° 881/2004 establishing a European Railway Agency (COM(2006)0785 – C6-0473/2006 – 2006/0274(COD))

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0785),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 71(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0473/2006),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0350/2007),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.


Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 29 November 2007 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 establishing a European Railway Agency
P6_TC1-COD(2006)0274

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 71(1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission║,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1),

After consulting the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty(2),

Whereas:

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council(3) established a European Railway Agency to make a technical contribution to creating a European railway area without frontiers. Following developments in Community legislation on rail interoperability and safety, market developments and on the basis of the experience gained in operating the Agency and the relationship between the Agency and the Commission, certain amendments need to be made to Regulation (EC) No 881/2004, and in particular certain tasks need to be added.

(2)  Article 14 of Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community's railways(4) established a common procedure for authorising the placing into service of rolling stock. In the spirit of the principle of mutual recognition, the procedure for obtaining an entry-into-service authorisation in a Member State other than the one which issued a first authorisation must be facilitated by limiting the elements which the competent authority may examine. To this end, all the technical and safety rules in force in each Member State should be classified into three groups and the results of this classification should be presented in a reference document. The Agency is therefore required to facilitate this classification by cross-referencing the national rules for each of the relevant parameters and by providing ad hoc technical opinions on specific aspects of projects.

(3)  National rules are to be notified to the Commission both in accordance with Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... [Interoperability Directive](5) and Directive 2004/49/EC. The dividing line between the two sets of rules is unclear because the safety rules partly concern the subsystems, which themselves are also subject to interoperability rules. The two sets of rules should therefore be compared, classified and then presented in a coherent manner on the Agency's website.

(4)  Under Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 881/2004, the Agency may monitor the quality of the work of the bodies notified by the Member States. A study conducted by the Commission has shown that there is much scope for interpretation of the criteria to be applied for notifying these bodies. Without prejudice to the Member States" responsibility with regard to the bodies that they choose to notify and the checks that they make to ensure that these criteria have been met, it is import to assess the impact of such differences in interpretation and to check that they do not cause difficulties with regard to the mutual recognition of conformity certificates and the EC declaration of verification. The Agency should therefore be able to assume a coordinating role in this area, for example by undertaking missions to collect information.

(5)  Article 15 of Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 authorises the Agency to assess, at the request of the Commission and from the point of view of interoperability, applications for Community funding for railway infrastructure projects. The definition of "infrastructure projects" should be extended so that the coherence of the system can also be assessed, as in the case of projects implementing the ERTMS system, for example.

(6)  Following developments of an international dimension, and in particular the entry into force of the new Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (1999 COTIF Convention) ║, the Agency should be asked to assess the relationship between railway undertakings and keepers of rolling stock, particularly with regard to maintenance, and to formulate recommendations where necessary. This task should be an extension of the Agency's work in the area of maintenance workshop certification.

(7)  Following adoption of the third railway package║, reference should be made to Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community(6), which lays down various tasks to be performed by the Agency.

(8)  Since the adoption of the second rail package, several initiatives relating to the development and implementation of the ERTMS system have been taken. These include the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Commission and the various stakeholders in the sector, the setting up of a steering committee for implementing this cooperation agreement, the adoption by the Commission of a Communication on the implementation of the ERTMS(7), the appointment, by Decision ….(8), of a European coordinator for the ERTMS project as a priority project of Community interest, the definition of the Agency's role as system authority in the context of the various annual work programmes, and the adoption of the "control-command and signalling" technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) for conventional rail(9). Given the growing importance of the Agency's input in this area, its tasks should be specified.

(9)  The Agency now has a large number of experts specialising in the interoperability and safety of the European rail system. The Agency should be authorised to carry out ad hoc tasks at the Commission's request, subject to the compatibility of the ad hoc task with the Agency's mission, the availability of budget resources and compliance with the Agency's other priorities.

(10)  The date by which the Agency's annual work programme must be adopted should be amended to allow for better synchronisation with the budgetary decision-making process.

(11)  The Agency's work programme should identify the objective of each activity and to whom it is to be addressed. The Commission should also be informed of the technical results of each activity as this information goes well beyond the scope of the general report, which is addressed to all the institutions.

(12)  Since the main objective of the proposed action, namely the extension of the Agency's mission to include its participation in the simplification of the Community procedure for the certification of railway rolling stock, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, and can therefore, by reason of the scale of that action, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 is hereby amended as follows:

(1)  Article 3(1) shall be replaced by the following:

"

1.  For drawing up the recommendations provided for in Articles 6, 7, 12, 14, 16, 17 and 18, the Agency shall establish a limited number of working parties. These working parties shall take as a basis, on the one hand, the expertise built up by professionals from the railway sector, in particular the experience gained by the European Association for Railway Interoperability (AEIF), and, on the other hand, the expertise of the competent national authorities. The Agency may, where necessary, set up horizontal working parties in order to cover cross-disciplinary subjects such as health and safety at work.

The Agency shall ensure that its working parties are competent and representative and that they include adequate representation of those sectors of industry and of those users affected by measures which might be proposed by the Commission on the basis of the recommendations addressed to it by the Agency. The work of the working parties shall be carried out in a transparent manner.

Whenever the work provided for in Articles 6, 12, 16 and 17 has a direct impact on the working conditions and the health and safety of workers in the industry, representatives from the workers" organisations shall participate in the relevant working parties.";

"

2)   ║Article 8a shall be inserted:

"

"Article 8a

Classification of national rules

1.  The Agency shall facilitate Member States" acceptance of rolling stock put into service in another Member State in accordance with the procedures laid down in paragraphs 2 to 5 of this Article.

2.  The Agency shall progressively create and update a reference document cross-referencing all the national rules applied by the Member States for placing rolling stock in service. This document shall contain the national rules of each Member State for each of the parameters listed in Annex ... of Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... [Interoperability Directive]*, and also specify the Annex ... group to which these rules belong. These rules shall include those notified under Article 16(3) of Directive 2008/.../EC [Interoperability Directive], those notified following adoption of TSIs (specific cases, open issues, exceptions) and those notified under Article 8 of Directive 2004/49/EC.

Initially, the Agency shall identify and compare the differences between Member States regarding safety clearance for infrastructure and rolling stock.

For the purposes of such work, a working party shall be set up; in addition, the involvement of stakeholders shall be secured in accordance with Article 3, and representation of the social partners consulted pursuant to Article 4.

3.  With the cooperation of the national safety authorities established under Article 6(5) to gradually reduce the national rules in Group B, the Agency shall regularly update the reference document and forward it to the Commission. The first version of the document shall be presented to the Commission no later than ...(10).

4.  The Agency may be called upon by a national safety authority, as part of the action taken in response to a request for entry-into-service authorisation, or by the Commission to provide technical opinions on:

   a) the equivalence of technical rules for one or more parameters;
   b) a request for complementary information, for a risk analysis or for a test and/or any outcome of such a request;
   c) the grounds for refusing authorisation.

5.  Before 1 January 2010, the Agency, after consultation with the national safety authorities, shall propose solutions to reduce the number and scope of the national rules relating to the classification of rolling stock in Group B.

6.  As from 2015, and in cooperation with national competent safety authorities, the Agency shall be entrusted with the task of granting authorisations for placing in service vehicles conforming to TSIs.

_______________

* OJ L ...

"

(3)  Article 10 shall be amended as follows:

   a) the following paragraph 3a shall be added:"
3a.  The Agency may be requested, by an applicant, to provide a technical opinion on a negative decision which has been taken by a safety authority as regards the granting of a safety certificate or a safety authorisation pursuant to Articles 10 and 11 of Directive 2004/49/EC.";"
   b) the following paragraph 3b shall be added:"
3 ter.  "3b. The Agency may be called upon to provide a technical opinion on the application of the appropriate version of ERTMS system specifications pursuant to Article 21a.";"

4)   in Article 11, the following paragraph 4 shall be added:

"

4.  "4. The Agency shall, with the agreement of the Member States and the Commission, specify the practical arrangements for forwarding the documents referred to in paragraph 1.";

"

(5)  Article 13 shall be replaced by the following ║:

"

"Article 13

Notified bodies

Without prejudice to the responsibility of Member States for the notified bodies which they appoint, the Agency may, at the request of the Commission, check to ensure that the criteria for the notification of these bodies, which are listed in Annex VII to Directive 2008/.../EC [Interoperability Directive], are met and to assess the quality of the work of these bodies. The Agency shall, if necessary, issue an opinion to the Commission.";

"

(6)  Article 15 shall be replaced by the following║:

"Article 15

Interoperability of the rail system

At the request of the Commission, the Agency shall examine, from the point of view of interoperability, any project involving the renewal, upgrading or construction of the rail system for which an application for Community financial aid has been submitted. Within a period to be agreed with the Commission according to the importance of the project and the resources available, the Agency shall give an opinion on whether the project conforms with the relevant TSIs. This opinion shall take full account of the exceptions provided for by Article 7 of Directive 96/48/EC and Article 7 of Directive 2001/16/EC.";

7)   ║Article 16a shall be inserted:

"

"Article 16a

Relationship between vehicle keepers and railway undertakings

1.  Within a period of:

   one year for wagons,
   two years for other vehicles,
  

from ...(11), the Agency shall assess the relationship between vehicle keepers and railway undertakings with regard to maintenance, in accordance with Article 14b of Directive 2004/49/EC. Within the same period, the Agency shall send to the Commission a report setting out ▌recommendations on the implementation of a ▌mandatory system of certification for vehicle keepers.

2.  The Agency's recommendations shall cover in particular the following aspects:

   a) the content and the specifications of a mandatory and mutually recognised system of certification for vehicle keepers;
   b) the type of certification bodies in charge of implementing a mandatory system with national safety authorities or notified bodies, in accordance with the provisions of Directive 2004/49/EC;
   c) the technical and operational inspections and controls to be carried out by the authorities of Member States;
   d) whether the keeper is capable, from the point of view of organisation, staff and equipment, of ensuring the maintenance of the types of vehicle which the keeper manages and of assuming the responsibilities of a contracting entity where new vehicles and subsystems are ordered or vehicles and subsystems are to be upgraded or renewed, in accordance with Directive 2008/.../EC [Interoperability Directive];
   e) whether the keeper is in possession of the information needed to perform the requisite maintenance activities (and in particular, maintenance records and maintenance plans);
   f) whether the keeper is in possession of the tools necessary for the monitoring and supervision of the state of the vehicles;
   g) whether a condition relating to insurance should be introduced in the specifications of the certification system.";

"

(8)  Article 17 shall be amended as follows:

   a) the title and paragraph 1 shall be replaced by the following ║:"
"Article 17
Certification of train crews and professional competences
1.  The Agency shall make recommendations on specifying common criteria for defining professional competences and assessing staff who are involved in the operation and maintenance of the rail system. In so doing, it shall take into account the criteria and priorities provided for in Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community*. The Agency shall consult with representatives of the social partners in accordance with the provisions of Article 4.
______________
* OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p.51."
   b) the following paragraph 4 shall be added:"
4.  The Agency shall contribute to the implementation of Directive 2007/59/EC by assuming the functions assigned to it under that Directive.";"

(9)  Article 18 shall be replaced by the following ║:

"

"Article 18

Registration of rolling stock

The Agency shall draw up and recommend to the Commission a standard application form for registration and common specifications for the national vehicle register in accordance with Article 14 of Directive 2008/.../EC [Interoperability Directive].";

"

(10)  Article 18a shall be inserted:

"

"Article 18a

European Register of authorised types of vehicles

The Agency shall set up and keep a European Register of authorised types of vehicles. This register shall include the types of rail vehicle authorised by Member States and shall be accessible electronically. Member States shall inform the Agency regularly of any authorisations granted or suspended.";

"

(11)  Article 19 shall be amended as follows:

a)   the following point (e) shall be added in paragraph 1:

"
   e) "(e) the technical rules notified by the Member States under Articles 16(3) and 17(2) of Directive 2008/.../EC [Interoperability Directive].";
"

b)   the following paragraph shall be added:

"

5.  "5. The databases created under this Article and under Article 11 shall be consistent with each other, particularly with regard to the national rules.";

"

(12)  Chapter 4 shall be amended as follows:

a)   the title of Chapter 4 shall be replaced by the following ║:

"

"SPECIAL TASKS";

"

13)   ║ Articles 21a and 21b shall be inserted:

"

"Article 21a

ERTMS

1.  The Agency shall assume the role of systems authority for developing and implementing the European Rail Traffic Management System ("ERTMS"). To that end, the Agency shall assume the tasks set out in paragraphs 2 to 5 of this Article.

2.  The Agency shall set up a procedure for managing requests for changes to specifications of the ERTMS.

3.  The Agency shall support the efforts of the Commission in migrating to ERTMS and coordinating installation of the ERTMS along the trans-European transport corridors.

4.  The Agency, in cooperation with the notified bodies and national safety authorities, shall supervise the application of the procedures for "EC" verification and putting into service in the context of specific projects, particularly with a view to assessing technical compatibility between infrastructure and rolling stock fitted by different constructors. The Agency shall, if necessary, recommend appropriate measures to the Commission.

5.  The Agency shall develop a strategy for managing the different versions of the ERTMS with a view to ensuring technical and operational compatibility between infrastructure and rolling stock fitted with different versions.

6.  At the request of a railway undertaking, an infrastructure manager or supplier, the Agency shall provide a technical opinion on which version of the ERTMS system specifications should apply.

Article 21b

Other tasks

The Agency shall, in agreement with or at the request of the Commission, perform any ad hoc task which is consistent with its mission as stated in Article 1, even if that task is not expressly provided for in this Regulation or in the work programme provided for in Article 25(2)(c).";

"

(14)  Article 24(3), first indent shall be replaced by the following:

"

"- temporary employees recruited by the Agency, for a maximum of five years, from professionals in the sector on the basis of their qualifications and experience in the field of railway safety and interoperability.";

"

(15)  Article 25 shall be amended as follows:

a)   in paragraph 2, point (c) shall be replaced by the following ║:

"
   c) "c) adopt, by 30 November each year, and taking the opinion of the Commission into account, the work programme of the Agency for the coming year and forward it to the Member States, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. That work programme shall be adopted without prejudice to the annual Community budgetary procedure. If, within 15 days of the date of adoption of the work programme, the Commission expresses its disagreement with the programme, the Administrative Board shall re-examine the programme and adopt it, amended if necessary, within a period of two months, in second reading either with a two-thirds majority, including the Commission representatives, or by unanimity of the representatives of the Member States.";
"

b)   the following paragraph 3 shall be added:

"

3.  "3. The Agency's work programme shall identify the objectives of each activity. As a general rule, each activity and/or each outcome shall be the subject of a report to the Commission.";

"

16)  Article 26(1) shall be replaced by the following ║:

"

1.  "1. The Administrative Board shall be composed of one representative of each Member State appointed by that Member State and four representatives appointed by the Commission, as well as of six representatives, without the right to vote, the latter representing at European level the following groups:

   a) railway undertakings,
   b) infrastructure managers,
   c) the railway industry,
   d) worker unions,
   e) passengers,
   f) freight customers.

For each of these groups, the Commission shall appoint a representative and an alternate from a shortlist of four names submitted by their respective European organisations.

Board members and their alternates shall be appointed on the basis of their relevant experience and expertise.";

"

17)  Article 36(1) shall be replaced by the following ║:

"

1.  "1. The Agency shall be open to participation by European countries and countries within the scope of the European Neighbourhood Policy which have concluded agreements with the European Community under which the countries concerned have adopted and are applying Community legislation in the field covered by this Regulation.

______________

See Commission Communication COM(2004)0373 of 12 May 2004.

"

Article 2

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at ║,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1)1 OJ C 256, 27.10.2007, p. 39.
(2)2 Position of the European Parliament of 29 November 2007.
(3) OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, p. 1; Corrected version in OJ L 220, 21.6.2004, p. 3.
(4) OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, p. 44; Corrected version in OJ L 220, 21.6.2004, p. 16.
(5) OJ L...
(6) OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 51.
(7) OJ …
(8) OJ …
(9) OJ …
(10)* One year after the entry into force of this Regulation.
(11)* Date of entry into force of this Regulation.

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