HC Deb 04 March 2002 vol 381 c102W
Mr. Rosindell

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on his policy towards the establishment of a European railway safety agency under paragraph 36 of the Laeken conclusions; and what powers it will have. [39635]

Mr. Jamieson

The Government welcome the publication by the Commission on 23 January of a "second package" of proposed measures to revitalise Europe's railways. This package includes a proposal to establish a European Rail Agency (ERA). We are considering these proposals carefully and will be consulting widely on them before reaching a formal position.

The Commission's proposal makes clear that the ERA will have no substantive powers of its own. It will act in a technical advisory capacity to the Commission on railway interoperability and safety matters, and will be staffed by experts from the industry.

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