ERA is an agency of the European Union, and such it is governed by European public law. It was set up in 2004 by Regulation (EC) 881/2004, which has been repealed by Regulation (EU) 2016/796.
EU agencies contribute to the implementation of EU policies, and facilitate cooperation between the EU and national governments by pooling technical and specialist expertise from both the EU institutions and national authorities. Decentralised agencies are set up for an indefinite period and are located across the EU.
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The European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) has been established in 2004 to devise the technical and legal framework for creating a Single European Railway Area (SERA) as mandated under European Union law. ERA’s core activities are creating a harmonised approach to safety, removing technical barriers, advancing the single European Train Control and Communication System (ERTMS), and promoting simplified access for customers for the European rail sector.
With the entry-into-force of the technical pillar of the 4th Railway Package, the mandate of the Agency has been extended. As of June 2019, ERA will be a European authority responsible for issuing vehicle authorisations and safety certificates in the European Union, as well as pre-authorising ERTMS trackside equipment.
The European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) is not an institution but one of the decentralised agencies of the European Union (EU).
ERA is an independent EU agency funded by the EU budget which operates separately from the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Member States.
More info on decentralised EU agencies
The vehicular working language of ERA is English.
In addition to your main language (i.e. your mother tongue or another language of which you have a least a thorough knowledge corresponding to level C1 as defined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), candidates applying for posts at ERA must have a satisfactory knowledge of English and/or of another of the languages of the EEA Member States to the extent necessary for the performance of the duties pertaining to the post.
ERA is governed through a Management Board, which is composed of one representative of each Member State and two representatives of the European Commission, all with the right to vote, each one with an alternate in case of absence.
It also includes six stakeholder representatives without right to vote: railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, railway industry, trade union organisations, passengers and freight customers. For each of those stakeholders, the Commission shall appoint a representative and an alternate from a shortlist of four names submitted by their respective European organisations. More info on ERA’s Management Board
The Agency’s Management Board is assisted by an Executive Board by preparing the decisions to be adopted by it, to ensure an adequate follow up to the findings and recommendations after investigations and the various internal or external audits. It also supports and advises the Executive Director in the implementation the management board decisions, with a view to reinforcing supervision of administrative and budgetary management. Where necessary, on grounds of urgency, it can take certain provisional decisions on behalf of the Management Board, in particular on administrative and budgetary matters, subject to a mandate received from the Management Board.