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Established in 2004, and based in Valenciennes (France), the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) was set up to build a Single European Railway Area (SERA) and to make rail more effective and competitive. To contribute to these goals, ERA is tasked with enhancing technical compatibility and safety across EU rail systems. The EU's adoption of the technical component of the Fourth Railway Package in April 2016 has expanded ERA's powers, making the Agency a key player in rail security and interoperability ...

Rail transport

Fiches thématiques sur l’UE 01-06-2017

EU rail transport policy is geared towards the creation of a single European railway area. Three packages and a recast were adopted in the space of 10 years following the opening-up of the sector to competition in 2001. A fourth package, designed to liberalise rail services was adopted entirely at its first reading by the European Parliament (February 2014), and the technical pillar was adopted at its second reading (28 April 2016).

In the early 20th century, rail was by far the most important mode for hauling goods across Europe. Since then, the freight market has undergone profound changes. In 2014, rail accounted for less than 12 % of all freight in the EU, while its main competitor, road haulage, achieved roughly a 50 % market share. This development entailed environmental concerns, road being considered more detrimental to the environment than rail. In the context of a predicted increase in freight transport, the EU has ...

Established in 2004 and based in Valenciennes (France), the European Railway Agency (ERA) was set up with a view to revitalising the rail sector and creating a Single European Railway Area (SERA) by eliminating regulatory and operational differences across EU rail systems. The 2013 Commission legislative proposals, known as the 'Fourth Railway Package', were adopted by the European Parliament in April 2016 after long negotiations. Among these proposals is a new regulation on ERA, renamed the EU Agency ...

Faire circuler un train d'un pays vers un autre est une opération relativement complexe et coûteuse puisqu'elle requiert la compatibilité technique de différents systèmes et infrastructures ferroviaires, ainsi qu'une approche commune de la sécurité. En dépit des progrès notables accomplis par l'Union depuis la fin des années 1980 en vue d'harmoniser les systèmes ferroviaires et de créer un espace ferroviaire intégré européen, du chemin reste à parcourir pour rationaliser les procédures et la gestion ...

Le quatrième paquet ferroviaire comprend six propositions législatives présentées par la Commission européenne en 2013 et destinées à améliorer l'efficacité et la compétitivité du transport ferroviaire dans l'ensemble de l'Union européenne. Il vise à supprimer les derniers obstacles institutionnels, juridiques et techniques, et à créer un véritable espace ferroviaire européen intégré. Si le processus législatif sur les questions techniques n'a pas présenté de nombreuses difficultés, les négociations ...

High-speed rail in the EU

Briefing 29-09-2015

High-speed rail (HSR) started developing in Europe in the late 1970s, first in France and Italy, and subsequently in Germany, Spain and the UK, among others. In the early stages, its development took place largely at national level. The EU started providing specific support to European rail projects with the establishment of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) in the early 1990s, some priority projects of which concern HSR. The EU also promotes HSR development through other means, including ...

The European Railway Agency

En bref 13-07-2015

Established in 2004 and based in Valenciennes (France), the European Union Railway Agency (ERA) was set up with a view to revitalising the European rail sector and creating a single European railway area through the elimination of operational and regulatory differences across EU rail systems. The Fourth Railway Package, which is currently under consideration, includes a proposal for a new Regulation on ERA which would modify its structure and expand the scope of its activities.

Cost of Non-Europe Reports identify the possibilities for economic or other gains and/or the realisation of a ‘public good’ through common action at EU level in specific policy areas and sectors. This Cost of Non-Europe Report seeks to analyse the costs for citizens, businesses and relevant stake-holders of remaining gaps and barriers in the Single Market in transports, as well as to examine the benefits from further action in the tourism sector. This particular study - the first in a series - focuses ...

Over the past decade, the European Commission has pursued a strategy for the revival of rail transport in the European Union (EU), to achieve a more competitive and resource-efficient transport system. In 2013 this process has moved to a new phase with the publication of a draft legislative package aimed at liberalising domestic passenger rail services within EU Member States.