On 23 January, the Commission presented the second package to revitalise the European railway industry. This package includes proposals for opening up Member States’ freight transport systems to competition and more coordinated safety measures.
The five measures proposed in the second rail package are to:
- develop a common approach to rail safety (a directive will lay down clear rules for safety certificates);
- promote interoperability (common standards etc.);
- speed up the opening of the rail freight market (the first rail package only opened the international freight market, but now the national markets will also be included);
- set up a steering body, the European Railway Agency, to coordinate work on safety and interoperability (it should be in operation by 2004-2005)
- join the intergovernmental organisation for international carriage by rail (OTIF), which drafts international regulations on dangerous goods, technical standards etc.