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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 59/121

Wednesday 17 May 2000

1. Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2. Asks to be consulted again should the Commission intend to amend its proposal substantially or
replace it with another text;

3. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

9. Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system


European Parliament resolution on the report from the Commission to the Council and the Euro-
pean Parliament on the implementation and effects of Directive 96/48/EC concerning the intero-
perability of the trans-European high-speed rail system (COM(1999) 414 * C5-0207/1999 * 1999/

The European Parliament,

! having regard to the Commission report (COM(1999) 414 ! C5-0207/1999),

! having regard to the Commission Communication on the integration of conventional rail transport
systems and the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive on the interoperability of
the trans-European conventional rail system (COM(1999) 617),

! having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

! having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism and the
opinion of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (A5-0112/2000),

A. whereas the establishment of an efficient, interoperable European rail area must go hand in hand with
the development of the exchanges of persons and goods arising from the establishment of the single
market, successive enlargements of the Union and the increase in internal trade,

B. whereas the volume of goods and the proportion of passengers transported by rail throughout the
European Union is continually decreasing from one year to the next in most markets, while at the
same time we are witnessing a significant rise in the volume of goods and the proportion of passen-
gers using the roads,

C. whereas a rebalancing of the different modes of transport in favour of, inter alia, the railways is necess-
ary for the achievement of the objective of sustainable mobility and must be a central tenet of the
European Union’s transport policy,

D. having regard to the continuing significant disparities between the railway infrastructures and rolling
stock of the various Member States,

E. whereas trans-European rail traffic requires the best available level of interoperability and interconnec-
tion of national railway systems,

F. whereas a trans-European rail system also entails optimal interoperability and linkage of the additional
services offered by railway companies, such as ticket sales on trains, telephoning or faxing from fixed
on-board equipment, and bicycle transport,

G. whereas interoperability of the railway system must be achieved in parallel with an extension of rights
of access to the railway infrastructure and other harmonisation measures designed to improve the
quality of the services offered by the railways, making possible a policy of sustainable development
of rail transport and the creation of a genuine European railway area,
C 59/122 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 23.2.2001

Wednesday 17 May 2000

H. whereas, despite the advent of the single market, the market in railway infrastructure and rolling stock
continues to be segmented into national markets, raising costs and compromising the interoperability
of networks,

I. whereas, because of the characteristics of the historical development of the railways in Europe, which
for a very long time was a strictly national phenomenon, achieving railway interoperability calls for
considerable effort, both technical and economic,

J. whereas interoperability will be arrived at through a long, gradual process, and resources are very

K. having regard, also, to the progress already achieved by railway companies, under the aegis of, inter
alia, the International Railway Union (IRU), in improving international freight and passenger services,

L. whereas the trans-European high-speed railway network is the product of recent and developing
investment, and whereas it must, by its very nature, be an international network,

M. whereas high-speed interoperability is a particularly good testing ground for the extension of rights of
access to the network, cooperation among national railway companies and technical and professional
interoperability (cf. Thalys and Eurostar),

1. Takes the view that the interconnection and interoperability of high-speed railway infrastructures,
rolling stock and additional services is a sine qua non for mobility of persons and the development of an
effective trans-European high-speed rail system which meets the needs of users;

2. Stresses that the high technical level attained by high-speed traffic should ensure effective interoper-
ability for any new investment;

3. Finds it unacceptable that, more than three years after its entry into force, Council Directive 96/48/
EC on interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system has not yet led to the adoption of a
single technical specification for interoperability (TSI) and notes the calendar for the development of TSIs
presented by the Commission;

4. Calls on the Commission, pending the publication of the TSIs, to ensure that new track is built
according to uniform European standards as far as rails and electrification systems are concerned;

5. Regrets that the Commission report does not give a precise assessment, for each sub-system, of the
existing degree of interoperability and that it does not enable the reader to assess the level of convergence
or divergence of technological developments in the area of high speed; calls for the next report to give an
account of the investment made in this area and to state how well each part of the system conforms to the
characteristics set out in the TSIs;

6. Recalls that the deadline for transposal of Directive 96/48/EC expired on 8 April 1999; those Mem-
ber States which have not yet transposed that Directive are therefore called upon to fulfil their legal obli-
gations as a matter of urgency;

7. Welcomes the cross-border high-speed rail services that have been established through cooperation
between national railways, such as Thalys and Eurostar, and congratulates them on their success;

8. Notes the work done by the European Association for Railway Interoperability (EARI), which brings
together infrastructure managers, railway companies and the railway industry and calls on the Commission
to ensure that the resources needed for the effective operation of this joint representative body are released
with a view to ensuring effective work and partnership in the preparation of the TSIs;

9. Stresses that convergence of the rules governing the professional qualifications, training and working
conditions of travelling personnel plays an essential role in the interoperability of the railway system and
calls on the Social Dialogue committee, which brings together railway companies and representatives of
railway workers, to be involved in the preparation of TSIs in this area;
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Wednesday 17 May 2000

10. Calls on the Commission to present a proposal for an exchange programme along the lines of the
earlier Karolus programme with a view to raising the level of knowledge of railway personnel involved in
interoperability or the development of international traffic as regards the legal provisions, conditions and
methods in operation in other Member States in these areas;
11. Calls on the Commission in its next report on the implementation and effects of Directive 96/48/EC
to present proposals for revision of the Directive along the lines adopted for the future directive on inter-
operability of the conventional railway system, particularly as regards setting an order of priorities and a
calendar and laying down social provisions;
12. Acknowledges and welcomes the intellectual, scientific and methodological investment and partner-
ship which have gone into the preparation of the high-speed TSIs and believes that this investment forms
an acquis and a working basis for the future directive on the conventional system;
13. Takes the view that the creation of a single market in railway infrastructure and rolling stock should
give a positive signal to the European industry, which is faced with new technological challenges, and
should lead to a more competitive railway transport sector;
14. Stresses the valuable contribution that the development of a coherent, reliable trans-European rail-
way system can make to the political and economic integration of the countries of Europe, and calls for
particular attention to be paid to the Union’s links with the Central and Eastern European countries, the
Middle East and North Africa, with priority being given to the applicant countries;
15. Recalls the essential role of safety standards and rules in the areas of interoperability and harmoni-
sation and calls on the Commission to encourage a common transparent safety evaluation approach at EU
level, and its application by the Member States;
16. Recalls that a common approach to certification must be sought under the terms of the interoper-
ability directive and of the authorisation procedures of the Intergovernmental Organisation for Interna-
tional Carriage by Rail (OTIF);
17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the govern-
ments of the Member States.