European Railway Agency - ERA

Making the railway system work better for society.



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;
  • Setting the internal control framework and organizing audits and performance evaluations on the Agency’s work.

The Railway System Department is the centre of Railway System Competence for the Agency.

Divided in three different units, the RSY department covers:

  • Railway safety and operations matters;
  • Railway Interoperability of vehicles and infrastructure;
  • ERTMS.

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 Analysis and Monitoring (A&M) is the Unit of the Agency mainly focusing on railway data collection, analysis and reporting, with an eye on research and new technologies.

Its main objective is building fact-based knowledge to ensure a factual decision making for the stakeholders and the Agency.

To this end, A&M collects and delivers objective and credible evidence through:

  • Management and analysis of railway system data;
  • Ex-ante and ex-post impact assessment;
  • Monitoring of National Safety Authorities and Notified Bodies; and
  • Evaluation activities.

The A&M Unit coordinates the Agency’s research activities on railway matters and supports partner organisations in research and innovation. The objective is to support the technical progress of the Single European Railway Area.

Finally, A&M communicates consistently and effectively its findings both within the Agency and to external stakeholders through ad-hoc and periodic reports.

The “Executive Office and Communication” (EXO) is the Unit that takes care of the strategic development of the Agency defining key priorities together with the Agency units/department, the stakeholders, the management board and the Executive Director.

Are part of the EXO Unit:

  • Corporate management and Integrated Management System (IMS);
  • Communication;
  • Digital communication and ERA Academy;
  • International.

The Corporate management and IMS team activities are linked with setting up and monitoring:

  • The relevant Agency strategies;
  • The budget and the work programme of the Agency.

all in coherence with the vision of the Executive Director.

The Communication team takes care of institutional publications, internal communication and internal events, relations with the press and crisis communication.

The Digital communication and ERA Academy team work to ensure the right presence on the web and on the social media. It is responsible for setting up and managweing the training centre of the Agency, including the organisation events and conferences.

It is also an EXO task to care about international relations, i.e. cooperation of the Agency with stakeholders within and outside EU.

The Finance and Procurement Unit (FPU) provides the Agency with services aiming to support its daily functioning for aspects related to Finance and Procurement matters.

The FPU ensures sound and transparent financial management and procurement procedures.

It also provides support and expertise on financial files, public procurement and contracts, in accordance with the EU Financial regulation.

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 objectives respectively.

PAD also has a significant role in reporting to the EXO Unit on the implementation of the Agency single programming document within its area of expertise.

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 human various human resources policies and practicies 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.