The agreement - in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) - was signed on 17 March 2005. It requires signatories to agree within 18 months on each party's contribution, both from a technical and economic point of view.
The MoU was signed between the Commission and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), the European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM) the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the Union of European Railway Industries (UNIFE).
The objective is to arrive at "a harmonised control-command and signalling system on Europe's key corridors within 10 to 12 years" as part of Trans-European Transport Networks projects (see EurActiv, 11 May 2004). The Commission will follow up before the end of 2005 by putting forward a proposal to Council and Parliament to finance the system.