ERA AT THE CENTRE OF THE EUROPEAN AUTHORISATION AND CERTIFICATION PROCESSES
UNIFE believes that the only possible way towards a Single European Railway Area is through ERA acting as a one stop-shop for the vehicle and ERTMS authorisation, and Safety Certification. The European Rail Industry strongly rejects alternative approaches, such as the one currently being developed by some member states which propose NSAs cooperating amongst themselves as “primus inter pares”. Whereas the applicant should have the choice between NSA and ERA for single country authorisations, only ERA should issue European authorisation and safety certification. A “leading NSA” or “primus inter pares” approach for multi-country authorisation will leave the European Rail Industry in the unbearable situation of today: no single process or rules enforced, no European appeal body established, and the concept of European authorisation destroyed. This is contrary to the needs of the European railway sector.What we need to be competitive
Gradually, ERA must issue European authorisations and safety certificates, based on a streamlined European process that follows clear rules. Specifically, authorisation must be based on technical specifications for interoperability. In the meantime, under ERA supervision, Member States must reduce the number of the national technical rules to those that are strictly required for network compatibility. These conditions are a prerequisite for a strong and competitive European railway sector.
The European Railway Agency acting in future as the single railway authority and one-stop-shop in the European Union for issuing vehicle authorisation, safety certifications / authorisations and the placing in service of trackside ERTMS will be the most promising way to achieve the key objectives of the European transport policy and the Single European Railway Area.