CER AND UNIFE CALL FOR AGREEMENT ON TECHNICAL PILLAR UNDER ITALIAN PRESIDENCY
BRUSSELS—On 1 July, the Italian Presidency will start its work taking over from Greece. CER Executive Director Libor Lochman and UNIFE Director General Philippe Citroën are looking forward to working with the Presidency and wish them a successful period.
The Italian Presidency will last from 1 July to 31 December. With no meetings taking place in August, the Transport Council and its Working Parties will have to deal with many transport-related dossiers in just five months. Both associations therefore call upon the Presidency to keep a close eye on the time at its disposal: significant progress will only be made if resources are concentrated on selected topics.
Regarding the Fourth Railway Package, a political agreement on the Technical Pillar could easily be reached before the end of the year. Informal trialogues would need to start as soon as the European Parliament rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs are appointed. The Council would therefore need to start preparing such trialogue meetings right from the beginning of the Presidency.
CER and UNIFE invite the Italian Presidency to put the Technical Pillar on top of the rail agenda of the July Working Parties. This will create a sound basis enabling the launch of informal trialogues with a solid negotiating mandate from all EU Member States.
CER Executive Director Libor Lochman said: “The sector sees it as essential that the negotiations on the Technical Pillar progress quickly. For the EU´s rail operators, finding an agreement on the Technical Pillar is the vital precondition for them being able to perform on a single and truly open EU market. Harmonised and faster procedures will improve vehicles’ availability for all operators, and will result in naturally lowered market entry barriers for new entrants: having more efficient operators is what we wish to provide to our customers and to society.”
“For the European rail industry, the Technical Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package is of utmost importance,” reiterates Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, “Streamlined and more efficient authorisation procedures are needed in Europe to get rail products onto the market more quickly and to improve the competitiveness of our industry. The European rail industry hopes that the Italian Presidency and the Council Working Group will seize the opportunity of the summer months to prepare the trialogues, paving the way for an adoption of the Technical Pillar in autumn 2014”.