Briefing 
Updated: 
 
Created:   

Removing technical obstacles to creating a single EU railway area 

Draft rules designed to overcome obstacles to creating a single EU railway area will be debated and voted on Thursday. These rules, in part one of the “4th railway package” agreed with EU ministers in June 2015, tackle obstacles that are due to differences among national railway standards and procedures. They cover interoperability, safety and the role of the European Railway Agency (ERA).

The text would enhance the powers of the European Union Agency for Railways to issue EU market authorizations for rolling stock (locomotives, carriages etc) and safety certification of rail companies, so as to cut the duration and costs of procedures and thus help boost safety and the development of the EU rail sector.


Background

 

The 4th railway package was tabled by the European Commission in January 2013 to further improve the competitiveness and quality of rail services by removing administrative costs, introducing more competition in passenger transport services and ensuring a level playing field for operators.

 

A deal on the “technical” files was agreed in June 2015 by negotiators for Parliament, the Council and the Commission and approved in Parliament’s Transport Committee in March 2016. Parliament and Council negotiators also reached a provisional agreement on the “market” pillar of the railway package on 19 April 2016, which Parliament is likely to put to a plenary vote after the 2016 summer break.

 

Procedure: Co-decision (second reading agreement)

2013/0015(COD) - Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

2016/0016(COD) - Railway safety

2013/0014(COD) - European Union Agency for railways

Debate: Thursday, 28 April

Vote: Thursday, 28 April

Press conference Thursday, 28 April 14.00


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