COUNCIL OF MINISTERS REACHES POLITICAL AGREEMENT ON TECHNICAL PILLAR OF THE FOURTH RAILWAY PACKAGE
LUXEMBOURG—Today, the Council of Ministers reached political agreements on the three texts of the Technical Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package. UNIFE welcomes this progress made on the Technical Pillar and would like to thank the Council and the Greek Presidency for their work on this legislation. From UNIFE’s perspective, today’s political agreements represent an important milestone towards the adoption of the Technical Pillar. UNIFE hopes that the Italian Presidency will continue the work of the Greek Presidency on the Technical Pillar so that the Council can swiftly adopt a common position in the second half of 2014. UNIFE furthermore hopes that the upcoming Presidency will engage in trialogue negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as possible.
The current situation with regard to authorisation processes in Europe is a heavy burden for the European rail industry. The differing authorisation processes in Europe lead to inefficiencies, lengthy procedures, double testing and administrative burden, which all impose high costs for the rail sector and make the authorisation process unpredictable in a number of member states. The European rail industry urgently needs a streamlined authorisation process led by the European Railway Agency for multi-country authorisations and the creation of a single European market for rail equipment.
Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, commented: “The European rail industry welcomes the progress made today in the Council and would like to thank the Greek Presidency and the Council for their hard work. We would like to use the occasion of this positive development on the Package to once again urge the European institutions to adopt the Technical Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package during the Italian Presidency—as this legislation would lead to major cost savings for the industry as well as massive improvements to rail transport throughout the Union.”