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ERA, as an European Union (EU) agency, is governed by EU public law but operates independently from the EU Institutions (Council, Parliament, Commission etc.) and has its own legal personality. The European Commission is, however, a crucial institutional stakeholder for ERA and a partner in the implementation of its mandate.

ERA closely cooperates with national safety authoritiesnational investigation bodies and representative bodies in the frame of networks and workgroups.

Representative bodies include organisations and associations that represent the railway sector, rail workers, freight customers and passengers.

ERA engages in cooperation activities with the following organisations:

ERA also takes an active role in the EUMedRail project, set up by the European Commission, by providing technical assistance in railways, with a view on further developing an integrated, safe and efficient transport system in the South Mediterranean region.