Joint letter to the European Commission on funding CEN budget

Joint letter from the Group of Representative Bodies to the Commissioner in charge of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Dear Ms BieĊ„kowska,

The Railway Sector is very active in supporting both the European Railway Agency and ‘CEN-CENELEC-ETSI’ for the development of the Interoperability and Safety regulations and the European technical standards.

When it comes to railway standardisation, it is the sector in its widest sense (railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, suppliers, users...) that invests a significant amount of time and effort (including its own experts) in standards development and the subsequent purchase of those standards and thereby covers about 95% of the total cost of standardisation works for rail in Europe.

Standardisation is a very important support for the internal market and also for business competitiveness. Rapid technological changes in our sector require a flexible, responsive and business-focussed standardisation system. This is essential to the competitiveness of rail not only in Europe but also on global markets and for that we want to promote initiatives that improve its efficiency.

New Approach Consultants employed by CEN_CENELEC are identified by the sector as a key contributor for the quality and efficiency of the standardisation process in our sector whilst helping to reduce the delivery time of the standards. Their work is complementary to that of the sector and they guarantee consistency between the voluntary standardisation structure and the regulatory framework managed by the European Railway Agency.

The availability of these New Approach Consultants was however interrupted during the first 7 months of 2014, and currently, we understand, the work on standardisation is again interrupted for an undefined period due to negotiations between CEN_CENELEC and your services on the budget for these New Approach Consultants.