Transport Council agrees to improve EU rail services

Transport Council agrees to improve EU rail services : The European Commission has today welcomed the progress achieved in the Transport Council that aims to enhance the quality and efficiency of Europe-wide rail services by removing remaining technical obstacles. In particular, the Transport Council adopted a “general approach” on new rules which will introduce a single European authorization for placing railway vehicles on the EU market and will reinforce the role of the European Railway Agency.

As Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for mobility and transport, stated: “I am pleased to see Member States supporting this essential technical part of the Fourth Railway Package. This creates momentum for the completion of the Single European Rail Area and will contribute to the growth and competitiveness of the European railway market. This is a substantial achievement for the Irish Presidency but much work lies still ahead to make rail transport truly competitive compared to other modes”.

The Transport Council’s decision comes after the Commission’s proposal for the revise of the interoperability directive. This directive is focused on the removal of remaining administrative and technical barriers, in particular by establishing a common approach to safety and interoperability rules. Its revision will contribute to increased economies of scale for railway undertakings, decrease administrative costs, accelerate administrative procedures and avoid discrimination.

Moreover, the Council introduced some changes in the proposal, such us the concept of ‘area of use’ of a vehicle, a longer transitional period and the possibility for national safety authorities to issue authorizations for vehicles operating in one Member State only.

Finally, Vice-President Kallas pointed the need to have a shorter transitional period, as the provisions are urgently needed to boost competitiveness and promote the use of rail transport.


Source : neurope

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