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Railway legislation

Rail safety strengthened and efficiency improved under common EU approach voted by MEPs

The European Parliament today voted on a series of legislative proposals on the European rail sector (the '4th railway package'). The Greens welcomed the outcome on the technical files, notably proposals on rail safety and EU-wide authorisation procedures for rail vehicles. After the votes, Green transport spokesperson and European Parliament draftsman/rapporteur on rail safety legislation Michael Cramer said:

"The legislation voted today would bring an end to the myriad of national schemes, introducing a common approach to rail safety and strengthening the safety of our railways.

"MEPs supported proposals to make the European Railway Agency (ERA) a one-stop shop for certifying the safety of railway operators. It will coordinate the work of the national safety authorities and ensure swift and uniform procedures. This will end the current situation, with more than 11,000 national rules, which adds costs and administrative burdens and undermines moves towards more environmentally-friendly rail transport.

"With trains travelling across Europe, railway safety clearly transcends borders. MEPs have today voted to recognise this in giving broad support for a European safety certificate. EU governments have shied away from negotiations with Parliament to finalise the rules but we hope they will move swiftly to this common sense approach to the files on railway safety."

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