European Railway Agency - ERA

Making the railway system work better for society

Request an Opinion or Advice

What is an Opinion or a Technical Advice?

An Opinion is a non-binding formal act of the Agency, providing specialized expertise on railway issues to decision-makers, be it the European Commission, National Regulatory Bodies or Member States. The Agency’s Opinions do not represent the view of any other EU institution or body and are without prejudice to the decision-making processes foreseen by the applicable EU legislation.

A Technical Advice is a non-binding formal act of the Agency, covering any issue linked to the implementation of the Union legislation on railway interoperability and safety. It has non-binding, consultative value, but can only be issued to the European Commission, upon its request.

Who can request the Agency to issue an Opinion or a Technical Advice?

According to the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/796, the Agency may issue Opinions at the request of the European Commission or of the National Regulatory Bodies in EU Member States. However, only the European Commission is entitled to request Technical Advice to the Agency.

The European Commission may request Opinions on:

  • Amendments to any act adopted on the basis of Directive (EU) 2016/797 or Directive (EU) 2016/798, especially where any alleged deficiency is signaled – Art. 10(2)
  • Alternative means of compliance – Art. 19(1)(d)
  • Non-application of TSIs – Art. 19(1)(e)
  • Projects applying for EU funding (whether they comply or not with the relevant railway safety and interoperability legislation) – Art. 42
  • Innovative solutions or error corrections in respect to existing TSIs

National Regulatory Bodies may request the Agency to issue Opinions concerning in particular safety-related and interoperability-related aspects of matters drawn to their attention.

The Agency may also issue Opinions addressed to Member States if it considers that draft or existing national rules would negatively affect railway interoperability, the implementation of the railway legislation or would result in arbitrary discrimination or disguised restrictions on rail transport operations between Member States. Such Opinions (or their absence thereof) are without prejudice to the prerogatives of the European Commission under Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

How do I request an an Opinion or a Technical Advice from the Agency?

The European Commission or National Regulatory Bodies may send requests for opinions/advice to the Agency, using the electronic form below.

The list of Opinions and Technical Advices published by the Agency are available here.

Before submitting such requests, please consult the relevant articles of Regulation (EU) 2016/796.

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