Organisational chart as of 01/01/2023
The European Union Agency for Railways is an agency of the European Union established by the Regulation (EU) 2016/796. Its purpose is to support the development of a Single European Railway Area, without frontiers, guaranteeing a high level of safety.
Moving Europe towards a sustainable and safe railway system without frontiers
We are committed to achieve this by:
- Providing certifications, authorisations and approvals services to the railway sector;
- Developing a common approach to safety on the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS);
- Monitoring National Safety Authorities (NSAs) and Notified Bodies;
- Assistance (e.g. dissemination, training) to member states, NSAs and stakeholders;
- Providing technical support to the European Commission, and
- Promoting simplified access for customers for the European rail sector.
More details on our activities are available in our Single Programming Document.
The Headquarter of the Agency is in Valenciennes, with some facilities in Lille dedicated to specific events. Please consult following link here for the Agency’s mission, vision and values.
For more information, please read about us on era.europa.eu.
The Executive Director is leading the Agency in fulfilling its mission and strategic goals. The Executive Director Office (EDO) is responsible for supporting the Executive Director in taking informed and sound decisions, setting work priorities and allocates resources efficiently.
The EDO supports the Executive Director also in the daily operations of the Agency. In particular, it is responsible for:
- Setting up, maintaining and controlling the accounting system of the Agency;
- Providing expertise, specific advice and overseeing all legal matters;
- Supervising Non-Conformities and Conflict of Interest situation;
- Coordinating innovation and technology related activities.
Read also: Executive Director
Divided in three different units, the RSY department covers:
- Railway safety and operations matters;
- Railway Interoperability of vehicles and infrastructure;
For this, the RSY aims to drive the evolution of the SERA Target System Architecture in terms of specifications, verification and certification processes, identifying the research needs for the future target Railway System.
The RSY is also responsible for developing proposals and supporting the sector to optimise the evolution of the SERA Target Railway system exploiting the most viable solutions for further technical and operational interoperability. Besides, the RSY is tasked with the maintenance and, to a feasible extent, the improvement of the safety and overall performance of the railway system.
Another RSY mission is to act as the corporate memory for the evolution of SERA Railway System Architecture, and as the System Authority for ERTMS and Telematic Applications for Passenger and Freight.
Last but not least, the RSY aims to ensure the consistency of technical decisions taken across the different Units and Teams of the Agency.
The Fixed Installations and Rolling Stock (FIRST) Unit enables the Agency to fulfil its duty in the fields of Infrastructure, Energy, Locomotives & Passenger Carriages, Wagon, Safety in Railway Tunnels, Noise and Persons with Reduced Mobility. In particular, the Unit is in charge of:
- The maintenance of the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs) for the subsystems under its responsibility that define the mandatory requirements for ensuring the interoperability of the railway system of the European Union;
- The management of the National Technical rules for ensuring that the national legislations are in line with the essential requirements for the railway system and with the harmonised requirements contained in the EU legislations;
- Providing support to the Notified conformity assessment bodies and the European Standards Organisations for the development of supplementary documents (European Standards, Questions and Clarifications) linked to the TSIs scope.
The core competences in FIRST Unit are also contributing to other Agency's activities, notably related to Vehicle Authorisation, dissemination and research.
Jo De Bosschere
The ERTMS Unit enables the Agency to fulfil its role of System Authority for the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).
ERTMS includes the European Train Control System (ETCS), and the Railway Mobile Radio System (RMR, this is the voice and telecommunication system for the railways). The Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) for the subsystem Control Command and Signalling (CCS) are the legal framework defining the requirements for the implementation of the ERTMS; they make reference to the detailed specification documents available in the dedicated pages of the Agency website.
ERTMS relies on data communication and data processing systems, for which detailed requirements are laid down. The life cycle of such systems, taking account of technological evolution, introduction of new functionality and improvements from return of experience make the life cycle of those systems considerably faster than most other subsystem in the railway. A dedicated Change Control Management process is in place for the ERTMS specifications, to ensure that the experts of the Sector and of the Agency can process efficiently and timely the requests for changing the detailed technical requirements.
A key element of the interoperable digital railway system is RMR, the Railway Mobile Radio communication system. The development of 5G technologies represent an opportunity to phase out the existing GSM-R system. One of the key activities of the unit is to define the requirements for the future radio communication system for the railways (FRMCS).
The core competences in ETCS and RMR are available to the Agency for the different activities, notably to deliver Vehicle Authorisation and ERTMS Trackside Approval projects, as well as the coordination in the field of research and cybersecurity.
The main objective of the Safety and Operations (SAFO) Unit is to support the organisations that form part of the railway socio-technical system (NSA, NIB, RU/IM, ECM, etc.) in developing the capability to manage safety in a sustainable way, combining anticipation and resilience and to reach operational excellence of the entire European railway area
Achieving this, will require both more explicit (SMS, MMS, processes, technology, …) and less tangible (strategy, leadership, culture, …) elements of safety management being addressed together.
To this end, the SAFO Unit wants to actively support railway stakeholders through a set of activities that aim at:
- Building and/or enhancing safety management knowledge, based on operational practice as well as progressive research to establish a common understanding;
- Helping to regulate railway practice through the development of legislation (e.g. CSM, ECM certification), the removal of barriers towards operational harmonisation (e.g. Technical Opinions, AMOC), guidance (incl. RFUs), cooperation networks, etc.;
- Supporting the understanding and correct implementation of the EU legislative framework (raise awareness, disseminate, train, consult, …);
- Evaluate the maturity of implementation and safety management at different levels.
Finally, the SAFO Unit also lends its knowledge for the development and delivery of assessment activities in PAD and AAM.
The Corporate Assurance and Performance Unit (CAP) drives the multi-annual work planning, monitoring, and reporting of the Agency, with a focus on the added value and impact for the railway system and EU citizens and provides assurance to the Executive Director on the best use of Agency’s resources in compliance with the applicable rules.
The Unit manages the following workstreams:
- Strategic programming, monitoring and reporting cycle;
- Corporate performance, including the implementation of the Strengthening Plan and the Agency dashboard;
- Budget planning and monitoring;
- Facilitation and follow-up of audits ;
- Internal control and financial verification.
The Unit coordinates the preparation of the Single Programming Document (SPD) with a flexible yet compelling approach, where accountability and impact occupy a central role.
This includes the identification and steering of the Agency's priorities with the Management Board and with the other Units to support the European Commission vision and policy objectives.
Furthermore, the Unit foresees budget planning, and monitors its implementation, which includes necessary reviews to guarantee good governance and rigorous spending.
Through the financial verification of the Agency's transactions and the implementation of the internal control strategy, CAP provides assurance to the Executive Director on the effective implementation of the Internal Control Framework.
CAP supports and facilitates the external audits, ensuring that any gaps and shortcomings identified are addressed, with a focus on organisational learning. It also coordinates the organisation of the Agency’s Management Board and Executive Board meetings.
The Resources and Support Unit (RSU) provides the Agency with services aiming to support its daily functioning for aspects related to:
- Human Resources Management;
- Information Technology; and
- Facilities Management.
In particular, the RSU implements and monitors various human resources policies and practices ensuring efficient selection, recruitment, training and career management and its administrative implications.
The Resources and Support Unit also manages the Agency's premises, taking care of the maintenance, cleaning and security services.
It also coordinates and operates the IT infrastructure, which delivers and maintains information and communication technology solutions to boost the effectiveness and efficiency of the Agency.
In the Agency the Planning and Approvals Delivery Unit (PAD) is the programme and project delivery and technical assistance hub for the following areas of work:
- Vehicle (type) authorisations;
- Single safety certificates; and
- ERTMS trackside approval.
PAD's role is to ensure the sound management of the processes above thereby enhancing the reputation of the Agency and delivering the proper functioning of the Single European Railway Area in accordance with the goals set out in the 4th Railway Package.
In addition, PAD also ensures Agency-wide programme and project portfolio management and control to ensure the efficient planning and resourcing of projects at ERA and the achievement of their respective objectives.
PAD also has a significant role in reporting to the CAP Unit on the implementation of the Agency single programming document within its area of expertise.
The "Operational Data Unit" (OPD) is the Unit that brings together the Agency’s work on Data, supporting the successful functioning of the Single European Railway Area. In particular the team leads on the work for the development and implementation of the TAF/TAP TSIs, the Agency’s Registers and the work to migrate the tools to a datacentric approach, developing and publishing a controlled vocabulary to support the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) implementation of railway data. To support this, the Unit also chairs the Data & IT Governance Steering Committee, ensuring a coherent approach to data management and providing expert advice to the Management Team.
Currently the team has developed the railway infrastructure database as a knowledge graph, has developed and published a controlled vocabulary to support this and is working on the gradual evolution of the other systems.
The OPD Unit comprise the following groups:
- Data Interoperability and Information Governance.
- Digital transformation.
The Monitoring, Analysis, Research and Stakeholders (MARS) Unit monitors the railway system and its bodies and liaises with European external stakeholders, including research institutions and international partners. Its fact-based analyses, studies and reports are distributed both internally and externally to enable a factual decision-making for stakeholders, the Agency and the European Commission. The Unit arranges and uses all means and channels for external communication. Furthermore, the MARS Unit manages the conferences and training centre of the Agency for a wide dissemination of the railway knowledge.
More specifically, the MARS Unit is active in the following areas:
- Monitoring railway bodies: monitoring of National Safety Authorities (NSAs) and Notified Bodies (NoBos) through audits and inspections, and National Investigation Bodies (NIBs) through participation in the peer-review process;
- Analysis and economic evaluation: analytical support throughout the Agency and its stakeholders in order to deliver objective and credible evidence for decision-making. In particular, this covers ex-post and ex-ante impact assessments, monitoring and (statutory) reporting on the railway system, targeted studies and data analyses;
- Research: coordination of rail research activities to support the technical progress of the Single European Railway Area;
- Stakeholder relations, Academy and Communication (SAC): cooperation with stakeholders within and outside EU, running the formal Networks for EU stakeholders (NSAs, NIBs and representative bodies), internal and external communication, including institutional publications, relations with the press, and presence on the web and social media. ERA Academy organises the Agency’s events, trainings and conferences, and it further develops the new Knowledge HUB and promotes more dedicated railway education in Europe.