Tag Archives: Trans-European network

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1336/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1997 on a series of guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks [Official Journal L 183 of 11.07.1997]. [See amending acts].

Summary

In this Decision, the European Parliament and the Council establish guidelines covering the objectives, priorities and broad lines of action proposed for trans-European networks. These guidelines set out the areas selected for projects of common interest and establish a procedure for the identification of specific projects of common interest in these areas.

The following priorities are established for the achievement of the objectives set out in point 1 above:

  • study and validation of technical and commercial feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications supporting the development of a European information society, in particular applications of collective interest;
  • study and validation of feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications contributing to economic and social cohesion, by improving access to information across the whole Union, building on European cultural diversity;
  • stimulation of trans-boundary interregional initiatives and of initiatives involving regions, in particular the less favoured ones, for the launch of trans-European telecommunications services and applications;
  • study and validation of feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications and services contributing to the strengthening of the internal market and job creation, in particular those offering to SMEs means to improve their competitiveness in the Community and at world level;
  • identification, study and validation of technical and commercial feasibility, followed by the deployment of trans-European generic services providing seamless access to all kinds of information, including in rural and peripheral areas, and interoperable with equivalent services at world level;
  • study and validation of the feasibility of new integrated broadband communication (IBC) networks, where required for such applications and services, and the promotion of such networks;
  • identification and removal of gaps and missing links for effective interconnection and interoperability of all components of telecommunications networks in Europe and at world level, with particular emphasis on IBC networks.

The broad lines of measures to be implemented for achieving the objectives defined in point 1 will cover:

  • identification of projects of common interest by the establishment of a work programme;
  • action aiming at increasing the awareness of citizens, economic operators and administrations about the benefits they can draw from the new advanced trans-European telecommunications services and applications;
  • action aiming at the stimulation of combined initiatives from users and providers for the launch of projects in the field of trans-European telecommunications networks, in particular IBC networks;
  • support, within the framework of the methods laid down by the Treaty, for action to study and validate the feasibility, followed by the deployment, of applications, in particular applications of collective interest, and encouragement of the establishment of public/private collaboration, in particular through partnerships;
  • stimulation of the supply and use of services and applications for SMEs and professional users;
  • promotion of the interconnectivity of networks, the interoperability of broadband services and applications and the infrastructure they require, in particular for multimedia applications, and interoperability between existing services and applications and their broadband counterparts.

The projects designated are eligible for Community support in accordance with the provisions of the Council Regulation laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks.

Member States shall take all measures required at national, regional or local level to facilitate and accelerate the implementation of the projects of common interest in accordance with Community rules.

The Commission shall report every three years on the application of this Decision to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

Annex 1 to the Decision defines the three-layer model which is the most appropriate way of describing trans-European telecommunications networks:

  • The “applications” level caters for user needs, taking into account cultural and linguistic differences and, in particular, the accessibility requirements of disabled people. These applications also seek to cater for the specific needs of less developed or less populated regions.
    The areas concerned are the following: a) e-government and e-administration: (e.g. e-procurement activities, personal security, environment and tourism, business support for SMEs and participation in the democratic decision-making process); b) improved access to health services and improvements in the quality of care (e.g. networking of health care institutions, actions on disease prevention and health promotion); c) education and culture (e.g. new ways of presenting educational and cultural information, life-long learning and participation of older people and people with disabilities in the information society).
  • The “generic services” level provides common tools for the development and implementation of new applications based on interoperable standards.
    The areas concerned are the following: a) the mobile services (e.g. for the 2.5-3G mobile networks: guidance and navigation, security, invoicing, emergency services, health, teleworking, learning and culture); b) services in the public interest aimed at all aspects of security (e.g. networking of the national CERT systems).
  • The “interconnection and interoperability of networks” level promotes the interconnection, interoperability and security of networks underpinning the operation of specific public interest applications and services.

The Community is taking additional back-up and coordinating measures with a view to creating the appropriate environment for the realisation of these projects. The actions will contribute to programme awareness, and to consensus development centred on European, national, regional and local activities designed to stimulate and promote the new services and applications. They will necessitate consultation with European standardisation and planning bodies, involving essentially:

  • strategic studies on the formulation of target specifications and the transition towards their application, in order to help players in the sector to make sound economic investment decisions;
  • definition of means of accessing broadband networks;
  • establishment of common specifications based on European and world standards;
  • intensification of public and private partnerships (PPP);
  • coordination of these activities with related Community and national programmes.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1336/97/EC 31.7.1997 OJ L of 11.7.1997
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 1375/2002/EC 19.8.2002 OJ L 200 of 30.7.2002

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2008/57/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This directive establishes the conditions to be fulfilled to achieve interoperability * within the EU rail system at the design, construction, placing into service, upgrading, renewal, operation and maintenance stages. Its provisions comply with Directive 2004/45/EC on railway safety and the health and safety of workers.

The gradual implementation of interoperability of the rail system is pursued through the harmonisation of technical standards. Thus this directive covers:

  • essential requirements with regard to safety, reliability, human health, environmental protection, technical compatibility and operation of the system (Annex III);
  • the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) adopted for each subsystem or part of subsystem pursuant to this directive;
  • the corresponding European specifications.

The railway network * is broken down into subsystems of a structural nature (energy, control-command and signalling, rolling stock) or functional (operation and traffic management, maintenance and telematics applications). European Union (EU) countries may request that the Commission grant derogations and the Commission may decide to exclude certain measures from the scope of the directive for specific cases and for a set period *.

TSI projects shall be prepared by the European railway agency which will examine the subsystems in consultation with associations and the social partners. Next, the projects shall be submitted to the European Commission which will modify and adopt them, having regard to the right of scrutiny of the Parliament.

Interoperability constituents
* shall be subject to European specifications (such as European standards). They shall be subject to the procedure for “EC” declaration of conformity or suitability for use.

Authorisations for placing in service of vehicles shall be granted by the national safety authorities responsible for each network.

Context

This Directive is a recast of Directive 2001/16/EC applicable to the conventional rail system and Directive 96/48/EC on the trans-European high-speed rail system.

The pursuit of technical harmonisation aims at developing transport services in the EU and with third countries. It facilitates the integration of the market in equipment and services for the construction, renewal and operation of the rail system.

Key terms used in the Act
  • Interoperability: the ability of a rail system to allow the safe and uninterrupted movement of trains which accomplish the required levels of performance for these lines. This ability depends on all the regulatory, technical and operational conditions which must be met in order to satisfy the essential requirements.
  • Network: the lines, stations, terminals, and all kinds of fixed equipment needed to ensure safe and continuous operation of the rail system.
  • Specific case: any part of the rail system which needs special provisions in the TSIs (temporary or definitive) because of geographical, topographical or urban environment constraints or those affecting compatibility with the existing system. This may include in particular railway lines and networks isolated from the rest of the Community, the loading gauge, the track gauge or space between the tracks and vehicles strictly intended for local, regional or historical use, as well as vehicles originating from or destined for third countries.
  • Interoperability constituents: any elementary component, group of components, subassembly or complete assembly of equipment incorporated or intended to be incorporated into a subsystem. The concept covers both tangible objects and intangible objects (such as software).

References

Act Entry into force Transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/57/EC

19.7.2008

19.7.2010

OJ L 191 of 18.7.2008

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Directive 2008/57/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 201/2011 of 1 March 2011 on the model of declaration of conformity to an authorised type of railway vehicle [Official Journal L 57 of 2.3.2011].

Commission Decision 2009/107/EC of 23 January 2009 amending Decisions 2006/861/EC and 2006/920/EC concerning technical specifications of interoperability relating to subsystems of the trans-European conventional rail system [notified under number C(2009) 38] (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 45 of 14.2.2009].

Minimum levels of safety in European road tunnels

Minimum levels of safety in European road tunnels

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Minimum levels of safety in European road tunnels

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Road transport

Minimum levels of safety in European road tunnels

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2004/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the trans-European road network [See amending act].

Summary

Background

Tunnels are important infrastructures which facilitate communication between extensive areas of the European Union (EU) and are therefore essential for long-distance transport and the development of regional economies.

However, accidents in tunnels, and particularly fires, can have dramatic consequences and can prove extremely costly in terms of human life, increased congestion, pollution and repair costs.

The fires in the Mont Blanc (France/Italy) and Tauern (Austria) tunnels in 1999 and in the Gotthard (Switzerland) tunnel in 2001 have highlighted the potential consequences, in human and economic terms, of such accidents in tunnels: dozens of dead and injured, and major European trunk roads blocked for months, if not years.

The Commission’s concern at this increase in the accident rate led to its White Paper entitled “European transport policy for 2010: time to decide” announcing minimum safety requirements for road tunnels in the trans-European road network.

This directive lays down a set of harmonised minimum safety standards dealing with the various organisational, structural, technical and operational aspects.

The aim of this directive is to ensure that all tunnels longer than 500 metres, whether in operation, under construction or at the design stage, and forming part of the trans-European road network, comply with the new harmonised safety requirements. Tunnels shorter than 500 metres do not generally need to be equipped with mechanical ventilation systems, as the hot smoke emitted by the fire is naturally stratified.

Administrative authority

Each EU country must designate one or more administrative authorities, responsible for all aspects of safety, which take the necessary measures to ensure that the directive is complied with.

The administrative authority may be set up at national, regional or local level. In the case of transfrontier tunnels, either each EU country appoints an administrative authority or the two EU countries appoint a joint administrative authority.

The prior authorisation of the administrative authority is required in the event of the commissioning of a new tunnel or rebuilding of an existing one. The administrative authority has power to suspend or restrict the operation of a tunnel if the safety conditions are not met.

The administrative authority ensures that the following tasks are performed:

  • testing and inspecting tunnels on a regular basis and drawing up the related safety requirements;
  • putting in place organisational and operational schemes (including emergency response plans) for the training and equipping of emergency services;
  • establishing the procedure for immediate closure of a tunnel in case of an emergency;
  • implementing the necessary risk reduction measures.

Tunnel manager

For each tunnel located on the territory of an EU country, whether it is in the design, construction or operating stage, the administrative authority identifies as Tunnel Manager the public or private body responsible for the management of the tunnel at the stage in question. Any significant incident or accident occurring in a tunnel must be the subject of an incident report prepared by the Tunnel Manager.

Safety officer

For each tunnel, the Tunnel Manager, with the prior approval of the administrative authority, nominates a Safety Officer who coordinates all preventive and safeguarding measures to ensure the safety of users and operations staff. The Safety Officer performs the following tasks:

  • ensures coordination with the emergency services and takes part in the preparation of operational schemes;
  • takes part in the planning, implementation and evaluation of emergency operations;
  • takes part in the definition of safety plans and the specification of infrastructure installations;
  • verifies that operational staff and emergency services are trained, and takes part in the organisation of exercises held at regular intervals;
  • gives advice on the commissioning of the structure, equipment and operation of tunnels;
  • verifies that the tunnel structure and equipment are maintained and repaired;
  • takes part in the evaluation of any significant incident or accident.

In the case of tunnels that have been approved at the design stage but which have not been opened to the public by 30 April 2005, the administrative authority assesses their compliance with this directive.

With regard to tunnels that have been opened to the public by that date, the administrative authority has until 30 October 2005 to assess their compliance with this directive.

By 30 April 2005, EU countries must submit a report to the Commission on how they intend to meet the requirements of the directive, on planned measures, and, where appropriate, on the consequences of opening or closing the main access roads to the tunnels.

Periodic inspections

EU countries ensure that inspections, evaluations and tests are carried out by inspection entities.

The administrative authority verifies that regular inspections are carried out by the inspection entity to ensure that all tunnels falling within the scope of this directive comply with its provisions. The period between two consecutive inspections of any given tunnel should not exceed six years.

Risk analysis

A risk analysis, based on a single methodology defined at national level, is, at the request of the administrative authority, carried out by an independent body for a given tunnel, taking into account all design factors and traffic conditions that affect safety, notably traffic characteristics and type, length and geometry of the tunnel, as well as the projected number of heavy goods vehicles per day.

Reports

By 30 April 2009 the Commission must publish a report on the practice followed in EU countries.

Every two years, EU countries compile reports on fires in tunnels and on accidents which clearly affect the safety of road users in tunnels, and on the frequency and causes of such incidents, and evaluate them and provide information on the actual role and effectiveness of safety facilities and measures.

The Commission shall adapt the annexes to this directive according to technical progress.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2004/54/EC

30.4.2004

30.4.2006

OJ L 167, 30.04.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 596/2009

7.8.2009

OJ L 188, 18.7.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2004/54/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Interoperability of the trans-European rail system

Interoperability of the trans-European rail system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Interoperability of the trans-European rail system

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Rail transport

Interoperability of the trans-European rail system

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2004/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system [See amending acts].

Summary

DEFINITION OF INTEROPERABILITY

Interoperability is defined as the capability to operate on any stretch of the rail network without any difference. In other words, the focus is on making the different technical systems on the EU’s railways work together.

Today, the competitiveness of the railways is curbed by the differences between Member States in terms of rolling stock, technology, signalling systems, safety regulations, braking systems, traction currents and speed limits. This state of affairs forces international trains crossing several States to stop at “frontiers”.

Historically, these technical differences met the need to protect the Member States’ own interests or those of their rail industry. At the same time, the road transport industry took advantage of its freedom from technical barriers to reinforce its position on the market.

CURRENT LEGISLATION AND THE NEW PROPOSAL

Three directives are currently in force on interoperability:

  • Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system;
  • Directive 2001/16/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system;
  • Directive 2004/50/EC amending the two previous directives.

The objective of these three directives is to narrow down the divide so that international trains can provide a better, completely safe service when they change national networks. The complete opening-up of the rail network to international freight services, scheduled for 2008, implies the need to put interoperability into action on the whole network.

The complete opening-up of the rail network to international freight services, scheduled for 2008, implies the need to put interoperability into action on the whole network.

The new Directive 2004/50/EC modernises the existing legislation on high-speed rail and extends the directive on conventional rail to the whole of the European rail system. Nevertheless, it will not imply total, forced technical harmonisation of the railway system. In practice, the interoperability process has several facets:

  • application of a homogeneous legal framework for the procedures for verification of application of the essential requirements on safety, health, technical compatibility, reliability, availability and environmental impact;
  • application of an identical procedure for placing in service trains intended to operate on the same infrastructure;
  • search for the level of technical compatibility that is necessary and adequate to allow operation of heterogeneous rolling stock;
  • search for a level of technical harmonisation contributing to gradual establishment of an internal market in equipment and services for the construction, renewal, upgrading and operation of the rail system.

Directive 96/48/EC: interoperability of the highspeed rail system

The first measure on interoperability was taken with the adoption of Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system.
In order to achieve the objectives set, technical specifications for interoperability (TSI) are drawn up by the European Association for Railway Interoperability (AEIF), which acts as the joint representative body bringing together representatives of the infrastructure managers, railway companies and industry.

8. The technical specifications for interoperability (TSI) are technical solutions designed to ensure compliance with the essential requirements for interoperability and to make the railway system operational.

Directive 2001/16/EC: interoperability of the conventional rail system

Directive 2001/16/EC, like the directive on the high-speed system, introduces Community procedures for preparation and adoption of TSI.

This directive requires adoption of a first group of priority TSI within three years, i.e. in 2004, in the following areas:

  • control/command and signalling systems;
  • telematics applications for freight services;
  • traffic operation and management, including staff qualifications for cross-border services;
  • freight wagons;
  • noise problems deriving from rolling stock and infrastructure.

Directive 2004/50/EC

The aim of this Directive is to establish the conditions to be met to achieve the interoperability within Community territory of the trans-European high-speed rail system as described in Annex I. These conditions concern the design, construction, placing in service, upgrading, renewal, operation and maintenance of the parts of this system placed in service when the Directive enters into force, as well as the qualifications and health and safety conditions of the staff who contribute to its operation.

At the same time, the Directive provides that trains should be equipped with a recording device. The data collected by this device and the processing of the information must be harmonised.

CONCLUSIONS

The biggest limitation of modes of transport such as rail is that they cannot provide door-to-door goods services. Time is wasted and competitiveness lost because the systems and networks are not harmonised.

In this context, the White Paper on European transport policy considers interoperability a key component in revitalising the railways and, consequently, shifting the balance between modes. The ultimate objective is to reduce congestion on the EU’s roads and to build a legally and technically integrated European railway area.

This package of legislation will make it possible to form major long-distance European freight corridors. One example is the agreement between the French and German railways (SNCF and Deutsche Bahn) to pool a fleet of locomotives despite the technical differences along this cross-border route.
Today’s technical and regulatory barriers work in favour of the existing companies and are still slowing down the entry of new operators and completion of a more competitive market.

Establishment of an open market free of technical barriers will guarantee higher quality and greater demand and allow the railways to go ahead with new investments.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2004/50/EC [adoption: codecision COD/2002/0023] 30.04.2004 30.04.2006 OJ L 164 of 30.04.2004
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 96/48/EC 08.10.1996 OJ L 110 of 20.04.2001
Directive 2001/16/EC 20.04.2001 20.04.2003 OJ L 235 of 17.09.1996

Related Acts

Directive 2001/14/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001].

Directive 2001/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 amending Council Directive 95/18/EC on the licensing of railway undertakings [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001].

Directive 98/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 July 1998 amending Directive 98/34/EC laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations [Official Journal L 217 of 05.08.1998].

Decision No 1692/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network [Official Journal L 228 of 09.09.1996].

Proposal for a Council Directive on the agreement between the European Rail Community (ERC) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) on certain aspects of the working conditions of mobile workers assigned to interoperable cross-border services [COM(2005) 32 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This proposal gives effect to certain aspects of the working conditions of mobile workers assigned to interoperable cross-border services concluded on 27 January 2004 between the European Rail Community (ERC) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the European Commission and the European railway associations (ERC – UIC – UNIFE – EIM) establishing the basic principles for the definition of an EU deployment strategy for ERTMS [Not published in the Official Journal].
The European Commission and representatives of the European rail sector (manufacturers, infrastructure managers and companies) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the deployment of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) to create an interoperable European rail network. ERTMS is a radio system used to send information to trains from the ground. A computer on board uses the information to calculate the maximum permitted speed and automatically slows the train down if necessary. ERTMS deployment means there will be one system for European trains, instead of the twenty different ones used at present; it will reduce infrastructure and maintenance costs and make the European rail network safer.

To implement it, EUR 4 billion euros need to be invested over the next ten years for the main priority routes. At first, ERTMS will coexist with the national signalling systems in use now.

Railway safety

Railway safety

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Railway safety

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Rail transport

Railway safety

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways and amending Council Directive 95/18/EC on the licensing of railway undertakings and Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The Directive applies to the railway system of the Member States and covers safety requirements for the system as a whole, including infrastructure and traffic management, and the interaction between railway undertakings and infrastructure managers.

In this connection, the Directive focuses on four major aspects:

  • the setting up, in each Member State, of an authority responsible for supervising safety;
  • the mutual recognition of safety certificates delivered in the Member States;
  • the establishment of common safety indicators (CSIs) in order to assess that the system complies with the common safety targets (CSTs) and facilitate the monitoring of railway safety performance;
  • the definition of common rules for safety investigations.

Development and management of safety

Safety rules and standards, such as operating rules, signalling rules, requirements on staff and technical requirements applicable to rolling stock have been devised mainly nationally.

These national safety rules, should gradually be replaced by rules based on common standards, established by technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs). The Commission has the power to suspend the implementation of a national safety rule for a maximum of six months.

In this connection, the Member States will ensure that:

  • railway safety is generally maintained and continuously improved, taking into consideration the development of European legislation;
  • safety rules are laid down, applied and enforced in an open and non-discriminatory manner;
  • responsibility for the safe operation of the railway system and the control of risks associated with it is borne by the infrastructure managers and railway undertakings;
  • information is collected on common safety indicators through annual reports in order to assess the achievement of the CSTs and monitor the general development of railway safety.

In order to coordinate the different rules, a distinction must be drawn between two sets of actors:

  • infrastructure managers, which are bodies or companies responsible, in particular for establishing, building and maintaining infrastructure or a part of it, and safety. In some Member States, however, safety may be delegated to railway undertakings.
  • Railway undertakings, which are public or private undertakings engaged in the supply of goods and/or passenger transport services by rail.

Safety certification

In order to be granted access to the railway infrastructure, a railway undertaking must hold a safety certificate. This safety certificate may cover the whole railway network of a Member State or only a defined part thereof.

For international transport services it should be enough to approve the safety management system in one Member State and give the approval European validity.

Adherence to national laws on the other hands should be subject to additional certification in each Member State.

The safety certificate must be renewed upon application by the railway undertaking at intervals not exceeding five years. It must be wholly or partly updated whenever the type or extent of the operation is substantially altered.

A railway undertaking applying for authorisation to place rolling stock in service in another Member State will submit a technical file concerning the rolling stock or type of rolling stock to the relevant safety authority, indicating its intended use on the network.

In addition to the safety requirements laid down in the certificate, licensed railway undertakings must comply with national requirements, compatible with European law and applied in a non-discriminatory manner, relating to health, safety and social conditions, including legal provisions relating to driving time, and the rights of workers and consumers.

An essential aspect of safety is the training and certification of staff, particularly of train drivers. The training covers operating rules, the signalling system, the knowledge of routes and emergency procedures.

Maintenance of vehicles

Before it is placed in service or used on the network, each vehicle is assigned a maintenance entity (which may be, in particular, a railway undertaking or an infrastructure manager). The entity ensures the working order of vehicles by introducing a system of maintenance in accordance with the vehicle’s maintenance book and the applicable safety requirements.

National safety authority

Each Member State must establish a safety authority which is independent from railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, applicants for certificates and procurement entities. It will respond promptly to requests and applications, communicate its requests for information without delay and adopt all its decisions within four months after all requested information has been provided.

The safety authority will carry out all inspections and investigations that are needed for the accomplishment of its tasks and be granted access to all relevant documents and to premises, installations and equipment of infrastructure managers and railway undertakings.

Accident and incident investigations

Serious train accidents, such as derailments and collisions with fatal consequences, occur rarely, but when they do they attract public interest and the interest of safety professionals all over Europe.

Criteria governing the independence of the investigating body are strictly defined so that this body has no link with the various actors of the sector. This body decides whether or not an investigation of such an accident or incident should be undertaken, and determines the extent of investigations and the procedure to be followed.

Each Member State must ensure that investigations of accidents and incidents are conducted by a permanent body, which comprises at least one investigator able to perform the function of investigator–in–charge in the event of an accident or incident.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2004/49/EC

30.4.2004

30.4.2006

OJ L 164 of 30.4.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/110/EC

24.12.2008

24.12.2010

OJ L 345 of 23.12.2008

The successive amendments and corrigenda to Directive 2004/49/CE been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of mere documentary value.

RELATED ACTS

Directive 2008/57/EC of 17 June 2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community (Text with EEA relevance).
This Directive lays down the provisions relating to authorisations for placing in service of railway vehicles. This text recasts Directive 2001/16/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system and Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high speed rail system.
The procedures for authorisations for placing in service were previously regulated by Directive 96/48/EC (for the new or renewed parts of the rail system) and by Directive 2004/49/EC (concerning vehicles already in service).

Commission Regulation (EC) 653/2007 of 13 June 2007 on the use of a common European format for safety certificates and application documents in accordance with Article 10 of Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and on the validity of safety certificates delivered under Directive 2001/14/EC (Text with EEA relevance).

Directive 2008/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on the inland transport of dangerous goods (Text with EEA relevance).

Legal framework for mobile TV

Legal framework for mobile TV

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Legal framework for mobile TV

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Audiovisual and media

Legal framework for mobile TV

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 10 December 2008 – Legal Framework for Mobile TV Networks and Services: Best Practice for Authorisation – The EU Model [COM(2008) 845 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This communication follows on from that of 2007 on the strengthening of the internal market for mobile TV, which highlighted the importance of the regulatory environment in the take-up of such services. It provides examples of best practice on national regulatory approaches to mobile TV networks and services.

Since launching its mobile TV initiative, the Commission has published overviews of the existing regulatory landscape in Europe with regular updates. This fact-finding exercise showed that Member States have taken very differing approaches to mobile TV. Consequently, the Telecommunications Council of November 2007 requested that the Commission take a more active role and proceed with identifying best practice on authorisation regimes for mobile TV and guiding the national adoption thereof.

When the Commission launched its mobile TV initiative in July 2007, only a few Member States had started addressing regulatory issues. To date, some Member States have still not established a regulatory framework for mobile TV networks and services, while others intend to extend the application of the general broadcasting regime to mobile TV broadcasting. In any case, the Commission is stressing the importance of avoiding situations of regulatory uncertainty. Furthermore, due to the wireless nature of mobile TV and hence the possible cross-border characteristic that it may acquire in the future, the authorisation regimes should also consider the internal market dimension. It is essential that the national regulatory approaches be as consistent as possible, without dismissing the local specificities.

Currently, the European mobile TV market is characterised by three main regulatory models that define the licensed operator’s rights as well as obligations:

  • extension of existing Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) rules; however, this might not suffice eventually;
  • the “plain wholesale model”, where spectrum is assigned to a single operator may raise concerns under the competition directive, in particular if the assignment is made without an open and fair procedure under non-discriminatory rules;
  • the “integrated approach”, which in the Commission’s opinion seems to best suit the launch of the mobile TV service since it will involve all relevant market players.

The regulatory regime for mobile TV services should be conceived in such a way that any undue impediments or delays are avoided. The role of regulation should be to provide minimum standards, which will guarantee the efficient use of frequencies. The central elements to consider in the regulatory regime are the:

  • general framework, which should be clear, transparent and adaptable to new developments. The authorisation procedures should be efficient and open to all market players so that a level playing field is guaranteed. Similarly, a timely legislative process needs to be ensured. In order to tailor regulation to the needs of the market, Member States should put in place public consultation mechanisms. At the same time, regular reporting by public authorities on market developments is considered best practice, so that appropriate propositions can be made if the existing rules need to be adapted accordingly.
  • authorisation regimes, which should be clear and transparent. To this end, the relationship between e-communications, spectrum and content rules should be clearly defined. Furthermore, the granting of authorisations should be centralised through a “one-stop-shop” to provide for a simplified and coordinated procedure.
  • award procedures that should be public, transparent and well defined, and for which a clear schedule should be put in place ahead of the commercial trials of mobile TV services. The award criteria should insist on quality of service, optimal use of spectrum and collaboration among the market players. The criteria should be applied in an objective, transparent and non-discriminatory manner, with due consideration given to competition rules.
  • specific aspects, which should not impose any unnecessary burdens on operators. For example, “must-carry” rules are not appropriate at this stage of mobile TV service development; however, Member States should organise discussions on “must offer” rules. At the same time, network infrastructure sharing and co-location should be encouraged, while the issues concerning interoperability and roaming should also be taken into consideration.

To further guarantee the effectiveness of the regulatory practices relating to mobile TV, the Commission aims to continue promoting the exchange of best practice between national administrators and the relevant market players.

Developing the Citizens' Network

Developing the Citizens’ Network

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Developing the Citizens’ Network

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Developing the Citizens’ Network

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 10 July 1998 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: “Developing the citizens’ network – Why local and regional passenger transport is important and how the European Commission is helping to bring it about” [COM (1998) 431 final- Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Amsterdam Treaty includes sustainable development as one of the European Union’s objectives. Transport has a key part to play in achieving this goal. A well-functioning European transport system needs a good, sustainable local and regional passenger transport structure. This is primarily a matter for local, regional and national authorities, working with transport operators and users, amongst whom there is a high degree of consensus on the fundamental need to shift away from dependence on private cars and make transport systems more sustainable.

Practical methods of making transport systems more sustainable and shifting away from excessive dependence on private cars include:

  • raising the quality and accessibility of public transport services and increasing their capacity to respond flexibly to changes in transport needs;
  • making walking and cycling more attractive by offering more favourable conditions;
  • reducing the demand for travel, for example by reversing the trend for housing, jobs, schools, etc. to disperse to places which are hard to reach except by car;
  • removing psychological barriers to the use of alternatives to cars;
  • actively managing car use in congested areas;
  • making transport an essential component of strategies for spatial planning, economic development and social cohesion;
  • fostering new, flexible working time arrangements;
  • pulling all this together to create a door-to-door transport system which people can use as an integrated Citizens’ Network.

What is needed is then integration of travel services, facilitating less costly and effective door-to-door travel whatever the number of transfers or the distances involved. One of the key principles is intermodality, as it allows different means of transport to be used as part of seamless transport chains.

To support the role of local and regional passenger transport while complying with the principle of subsidiarity, the Commission has drawn up a three-year work programme covering four key areas:

  • Stimulating information exchange by developing a European Local Transport Information Service (ELTIS). This will consist of a database about local and regional passenger transport of all types, with information coming from the POLIS network of cities and regions and the International Union of Public Transport (UITP). Users will be able to consult the service electronically by using the worldwide web.
  • Stimulating the benchmarking of service performance to enable public authorities and transport operators to benefit from comparison of the performance of their local and regional transport systems with systems in other countries. In this respect, the Commission will present a Communication on benchmarking of transport. In addition, the European Commitee for Standardisation (CEN) intends to adopt standard definitions which can be used in setting quality criteria for passenger transport. From 1999 onwards, the Commission will seek to encourage widespread use of benchmarking by public authorities and operators. It will publish a handbook on benchmarking local public transport and ensure that a database of results obtained is widely available.
  • Establishing a political and legal framework which promotes increased use of local and regional passenger transport systems and helps to achieve the objectives of the European Union’s common transport policy with regard to efficiency, quality and sustainable mobility. The Commission plays an important part in the development of this policy framework. In land use planning, for example, it encourages good practice with regard to transport through instruments such as the trans-European transport network, regional policy, and cohesion policy. In transport telematics, it makes the most of the potential of telematics applications to improve the efficiency and quality of transport services and help to overcome obstacles to their integration. The Commission believes that information obtained through new telematics applications (in real time, accessible at home, at work and on the move) should cover as many different forms of transport as possible, including public transport routes and timetables, the degree of congestion on the road network, the availability of parking, etc. Making use of the potential of regional transport will also provide increased moblity for women, the disabled and the elderly, and help to reduce pollution, energy consumption and CO2 emissions from transport and make optimum use of public spending.
  • Using the European Union’s financial instruments effectively. The European Commission will manage these funds and programmes so as to optimise the potential contribution from a sustainable local and regional passenger transport system. In its review of the guidelines for the trans-European Transport Network (TEN -T), for example, the Commission is paying particular attention to the question of local and regional connections to the TEN-T (whether to include intermodal passenger terminals in the guidelines). The Commission has also included four actions of specific relevance to the Citizens’ Network in the first projects under the Fifth Framework Programme for Research and Development: Sustainable mobility and intermodality; Land and marine transport technologies; The city of tomorrow and cultural heritage; Systems and services for the citizen.

All in all, the Commission’s work programme is intended to provide practical assistance to numerous institutions throughout Europe which contribute to the development of local and regional transport for the citizens’ benefit: the public authorities, transport companies and user groups.

 

Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Current general legal framework

Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 626/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 2008 on the selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services (MSS).

Summary

This Directive aims to create an internal market for mobile satellite services (MSS) open to competition and to reduce the digital divide by progressively improving coverage in less developed areas of the European Union (EU).

The Decision establishes a unique selection procedure at EU level and set outs common authorisation conditions for the operators of mobile satellite systems* by the 27 Member States. This will enable an effective use of the 2 GHz frequency band, comprising radio spectrum from 1 980 to 2 010 MHz for earth to space communications, and from 2 170 to 2 200 MHz for space to Earth communications.

Selection procedure

After the call for applications, the Commission shall organise a comparative selection procedure for operators. This procedure will comply with strict rules on transparency, fairness and non-discrimination. External experts may assist the Commission in assessing the applications.

Operators submitting an application must comply with the following eligibility criteria:

  • they shall be established in the Community;
  • they shall identify the amount of radio spectrum requested. This should be no more than 2 x 15 MHz. Evidence concerning the radio spectrum requested, the required milestones and the selection criteria should also be appended to the application;
  • they shall commit to providing mobile satellite systems covering at least 60 % of the aggregate land area of the Member States from the launch of the project and at least 60 % of the aggregate land area of each Member State by the time stipulated by the applicant or no later than seven years from the date of the selection decision.

The Commission may request additional information on the eligibility criteria. The applicant has between five and twenty working days to provide the requested information.

The selection procedure comprises two phases:

  • In the first selection phase, the Commission shall assess whether applicants have demonstrated the required level of technical and commercial development of their respective mobile satellite systems. Such assessment shall rely on the satisfactory completion of five pre-defined milestones (including satellite manufacturing and the satellite launch agreement).
  • In the second selection phase, the technical and commercial quality of the mobile satellite systems offered by the applicants is assessed according to criteria based on geographical coverage, benefits for consumers, the achievement of policy objectives and spectrum efficiency.

The Commission shall publish the list of selected operators who must then obtain authorisation at the national level.

Authorisation

Member States shall guarantee the selected operators the right to use radio frequencies and to use a mobile satellite system. These rights are subject to compliance with the following conditions:

  • selected operators must use the radio spectrum for the provision of MSS assigned to them;
  • selected operators must follow the milestones regarding satellite mating, the launch of satellites, frequency coordination and the provision of MSS within the territories of Member States (see the Annex to the Decision 626/2008/EC), in the two years following their selection;
  • selected operators must honour the commitments made during the selection procedure;
  • selected operators must provide an annual report to the competent authorities of all Member States ;
  • the rights of use and authorisations shall be granted for a duration of eighteen years from the date of the selection decision.

Complementary ground components

Once operators have been selected and authorised to carry out their activities in the 2 GHz frequency band, Member States must issue the necessary authorisations for the use of complementary ground components* of mobile satellite systems in compliance with certain common conditions. In particular, operators must use the assigned radio spectrum for the provision of complementary ground components and use them in an integrated way with the associated satellite system. In case of failure of the satellite component of the mobile satellite system, independent operation of complementary ground components shall not exceed a limited period of eighteen months. Lastly, the rights of use and authorisations of complementary components shall be granted up to the expiry of the authorisation of the mobile satellite system.

Committee

The Commission shall be assisted by the Communications Committee.

Context

This Decision forms part of the guidelines of the European Parliament Resolution of 14 February 2007 entitled “Towards a European Policy on the Radio Spectrum Policy”, which emphasises the importance of the diffusion of broadband, mobile communications and new wireless technologies in achieving universal coverage in the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU).

Pan-European satellite services also enable the expansion of geographical coverage of broadband in line with the i2010 initiative.

Key terms of the Act

  • Mobile satellite system: electronic communications networks and associated facilities capable of providing radio-communications services between a mobile earth station and one or more space stations, or between mobile earth stations by means of one or more space stations, or between a mobile earth station and one or more complementary ground components used at fixed locations. Such a system shall include at least one space station.
  • Complementary ground components of mobile satellite systems: ground-based stations used at fixed locations, in order to improve the availability of mobile satellite systems in geographical areas within the footprint of the system’s satellite(s), where communications with one or more space stations cannot be ensured with the required quality.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition into the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 626/2008/EC

2.7.2008

OJ L 172 of 2.7.2008

Trans-European energy networks

Trans-European energy networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trans-European energy networks

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Trans-European energy networks

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1364/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 laying down guidelines for trans-European energy networks and repealing Decision 96/391/EC and Decision No 1229/2003/EC.

Summary

The new guidelines for trans-European energy networks (TEN-E) list and rank, according to the objectives and priorities laid down, projects eligible for Community assistance. They also introduce the concept of ‘project of European interest’.

Defining the objectives of the TEN-E

The interconnection, interoperability and development of trans-European networks for transporting electricity and gas are essential for the effective operation of the internal energy market in particular and the internal market in general. Users should have access to higher-quality services and a wider choice as a result of the diversification of energy sources, at more competitive prices. Closer links should therefore be established between national markets and the EU as a whole. With that in mind, the new Member States are now fully incorporated into the Community TEN-E guidelines.

TEN-E also play a crucial role in ensuring the security and diversification of supply. Interoperability with the energy networks of third countries (accession and candidate countries and other countries in Europe, in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Caspian Sea basins, and in the Middle East and Gulf regions) is essential.

Access to TEN-E also helps to reduce the isolation of the less-favoured, island, landlocked or remote regions, thus strengthening territorial cohesion in the European Union (EU).

The interconnection of TEN-E also promotes sustainable development, in particular by improving the links between renewable energy production installations and using more efficient technologies, thus reducing losses and the environmental risks associated with the transportation and transmission of energy.

Projects of common interest, priority projects and projects of European interest

Decision 1364/2006/EC lists projects eligible for Community assistance under Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 and ranks them in three categories.

Projects of common interest relate to the electricity and gas networks referred to in the Decision meeting the objectives and priorities laid down in it. They must display potential economic viability. The economic viability of a project is assessed by means of a cost-benefit analysis in terms of the environment, the security of supply and territorial cohesion. Projects of common interest are listed in Annexes II and III to the Decision.

Priority projects are selected from among the projects of common interest. To be eligible, they must have a significant impact on the proper functioning of the internal market, on the security of supply and/or the use of renewable energy sources. Priority projects, which are listed in Annex I to the Decision, have priority for the granting of Community financial assistance.

Certain priority projects of a cross-border nature or which have a significant impact on cross-border transmission capacity are declared to be projects of European interest. Also listed in Annex I, projects of European interest have priority for the granting of Community funding under the TEN-E budget and particular attention is given to their funding under other Community budgets.

A favourable framework for the development of TEN-E

The Community guidelines for TEN-E stress the importance of facilitating and speeding up the completion of projects, in particular projects of European interest.

The Member States must take all measures necessary to minimise delays while complying with environmental rules. The authorisation procedures must be completed rapidly. The third countries involved must also facilitate the completion of projects partly situated on their territory in accordance with the Energy Charter Treaty.

The new guidelines also establish a framework for closer cooperation, in particular for projects of European interest. They provide for an exchange of information and the organisation of coordination meetings between the Member States for implementing the cross-border sections of networks.

The intervention of a European coordinator is provided for where a project of European interest encounters significant delays or implementation difficulties. His or her tasks include facilitating coordination between the various parties involved in implementing the cross-border section of a network and monitoring the progress of the project.

A European coordinator may also intervene in the case of other projects relating to TEN-E at the request of the Member States concerned.

The exceptional nature of the aid

The budget allocated to the TEN-E (around EUR 20 million per year) is mainly intended for financing feasibility studies. Other Community instruments may also step in to part-finance investments, for example the Structural Funds in the convergence regions.

However, such financial assistance is exceptional and may not lead to any distortion of competition. As a rule, the construction and maintenance of energy infrastructure should be subject to market principles.

Background

The establishment and development of trans-European networks, including in the energy sector, are set out in Article 154 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. Articles 155 and 156 of the EC Treaty provide for the adoption of guidelines to define the objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures for them.

The new Community guidelines update the guidelines adopted in 2003, which themselves updated the original guidelines adopted in 1996.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1364/2006/EC

12.10.2006

OJ L 262 of 22.9.2006

Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 67/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks.

Summary

This regulation establishes the conditions and procedures for granting Community aid to projects of common interest in the field of trans-European networks for infrastructures in the fields of telecommunications, transport and energy.

Community aid may only be granted to projects of common interest. Parts of projects are also eligible when they form units which are technically and financially independent.

Community aid for projects can take one or more of the following forms:

  • co-financing of studies related to projects – except in exceptional cases, the Community contribution may not exceed 50% of the total cost of a study;
  • subsidies of the interest on loans granted by the European Investment Bank or other public or private financial bodies;
  • contributions towards premiums for loan guarantees from the European Investment Fund or other financial institutions;
  • direct grants to investments in duly justified cases;
  • risk-capital participation for investment funds with a focus on providing risk capital for trans-European network projects and involving substantial investment from the private-sector.

At least 55% of the funding for transport infrastructure projects should be allocated to railways (including combined transport) and a maximum of 25% to roads.

Conditions for financial aid

Community aid may be granted if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • there is a financial obstacle to the achievement of a project;
  • the Community aid must not exceed the minimum necessary for the launch of a project;
  • except in exceptional circumstances, the total amount of Community aid must not exceed 10% of the total investment cost;
  • the Community aid must not, in principle, be granted to projects benefitting from other sources of Community funding.

The Commission may establish an indicative multiannual programme by sector to improve the efficiency of the European Union (EU). The programme will consist of projects of common interest in specific fields which require substantial funding over a long period of time. The programme must be reviewed, and if necessary revised, with regard to the effective progress of the projects.

Project selection criteria

Community aid is intended for projects that are potentially economically viable and for which the financial profitability at the time of application is deemed insufficient. The decision to grant Community assistance should also take account of:

  • the maturity of the project;
  • the stimulative effect on public and private finance;
  • the soundness of the financial package;
  • direct or indirect socio-economic effects, especially on employment;
  • the environmental consequences.

In particular in the case of cross-border projects, coordination between the various parts of the project must be taken into consideration.

Applications for financial aid

Applications for funding must be submitted to the Commission by the EU country concerned or, with the agreement of the EU country, by the body directly concerned. This regulation stipulates the information required for the assessment and identification of applications, including a provisional timetable and a description of control measures to be put in place by the EU country concerned over the use of the requested funds.

Reduction, suspension and cancellation of aid

The Commission may reduce, suspend or cancel aid for a project if, after examination, there is an irregularity or a failure to comply with one of the conditions, or a significant change in the nature of the project for which the Commission’s approval was not requested.

Except in exceptional circumstances, approved aid will be cancelled by the Commission if the project has not started within two years following the expected start date. The Commission may demand reimbursement of any aid paid if the project in question has not been completed within ten years.

Funding

The financial framework for the implementation of this regulation for the period 2000 to 2006 is EUR 4 874 880 000.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 67/2010

19.2.2010

OJ L 27 of 30.1.2010