Key policy issues for the railway sector


Passengers are at the heart of the European railway business. From long-distance high speed trains to local and regional trains, the railways have something to offer to each customer.


Rail freight is particularly well placed to reduce Europe’s dependence on imported fuels, due to its high energy efficiency and major reliance on electric energy. Rail freight can support Europe’s competitiveness if the right framework conditions are set in place.


Modern, efficient and reliable infrastructure is the backbone of the European economy. The rail network in Europe enables the transport of passengers and goods across member states with high efficiency and low emissions.


Rail contributes to reducing the transport users’ environmental burden to society with its exceptionally low total external costs.

Economic Footprint

Rail is an essential component of the transport system, and transport is an essential function of any modern economy.

Interoperability and safety

Interoperability and safety enhance and ensure the seamless and safe circulation of passengers and goods on railway vehicles across the European Union and even beyond its borders.

Social Affairs

Positive working conditions, equal opportunities and the protection of health and safety of rail workers are essential to the delivery of high-quality services. Together, CER and ETF, the European Social partners in the railway sector, help shape minimum social rules that would apply to all operators.